SKY TONGUES by Gina Ranalli (2009 Eraserhead Press / 136 pp. / tp)
Sky Tongues (the name of a hermaphrodite born with tongues for fingers and toes) is basically a coming-of-age / rags-to-riches story told in an addictive autobiographical style. Ranalli masterfully hints at a future landscape and society (roughly 130 years from now), which is not too different from the present; rascism and prejudice still exist, along with the possibility of happiness and fortune.
Abused by her father, Sky is kicked out of the house and soon taken in by a carnival owner who gives her work. She is welcomed into this new family, but eventually leaves when given the chance to realize her dream of acting. She eventually gets a role on a cable program that becomes a huge hit and becomes a genuine star. She starts her own family with Rabia (a Mue with transparent skin) and before long the sleazebag family who rejected her attempt to ruin her life and once again make it a living hell.
SKY TONGUES is rich in social commentary and features some of the more beautiful things I've read in a bizarro story (in particular some unforgettable scenes where Sky watches and bonds with her son as he grows Rabia's transparent womb). There's also times when the heartbreak and struggle between some of the characters becomes so real you'll forget you're reading a Bizarro story . . . which makes the story all the more bizarre and once again shows why Ranalli is one of the best writers in this ever-growing field.