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Bad Habit

By Alana S. Portero, Translated by Mara Faye Lethem

‘I urge you to read Bad Habit’ PEDRO ALMÓDVAR

‘An engulfing novel’ AVNI DOSHI

‘The book that everyone is reading’ NEW YORK TIMES

Told in an irresistible, heartrending voice, Bad Habit takes us deep into the lives of the residents of a godforsaken Madrid neighbourhood ironically named after a holy saint.

An unnamed young trans woman grows up in a working-class suburb that has no place for her. She discovers community and kinship in downtown Madrid, amid a dazzling party scene animated by charming junkies, glamorous pop divas, and fallen angels. With each step she takes forward in the city, she finds herself confronted by an antagonism she does not yet know how to counter. In this thrilling and yet often frightening place each decision can have the highest of stakes and yet she knows that only she can forge a path forward to the life she truly wants to live.

Blistering and compassionate, Bad Habit by Alana S Portero is translated by Mara Faye Lethem, and deftly illuminates the ties between gender and class, the search for identity, and the power of chosen family. Shimmering in its lyrical beauty and vivid in its realism, Bad Habit is a searing, mesmerising story of self-realisation that speaks to the outsider in all of us.

‘A ballad, a quest, a revelation. It made me weep more than once’ SABA SAMS

‘Painful yet unquestionably hopeful’ NICOLA DINAN

‘Portero’s elegant storytelling catches a celestial light, illuminating the body in ways beyond language’ ELOGHOSA OSUNDE

‘An unforgettable story … Believe the hype!’ OKECHUKWU NZELU

‘Elegant and brutal, Portero’s writing pierces all of our defences and lets the crying light in’ MORGAN M PAGE

‘Devastating yet beautiful’ TRAVIS ALABANZA

‘Obliges the reader to hold back (or unleash) their feelings chapter after chapter’ VOGUE SPAIN

Format: Trade Paperback
Release Date: 23 Apr 2024
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0-00-866330-8
Price: £13.99 (Export Price) , £13.99, €None
Alana S. Portero is a Medieval historian, writer, playwright, LGBT activist, and co-founder of the theatre company STRIGA. Her writings on feminism and LGTBQ activism from the perspective of a trans woman have been featured in a number of international publications, including Agente provocador,, El Salto Diario, SModa and Vogue. She lives in Madrid.

”'I urge you, read Bad Habit to fully grasp the degree of adversity, pain, and danger endured for virtue of growing-up trans” - Pedro Almodóvar

'The book that everyone is reading … tells the story of a working-class transgender woman full of rage and beauty, pain and poetry' New York Times -

”'Portero’s elegant storytelling catches a celestial light, illuminating the body in ways beyond language” - Eloghosa Osunde, author of Vagabonds!

'Portero’s prose is so commanding - she’s drawn a painful yet unquestionably hopeful novel' Nicola Dinan, author of Bellies -

”'Leaves you stunned … Devastating yet beautiful … A special and unique creation” - Travis Alabanza, author of None of the Above

”'Elegant and brutal” - Morgan M Page, author of Boys Don’t Cry

”'Incredibly moving, completely absorbing … This is an unforgettable story, told with frankness and vulnerability. Believe the hype!” - Okechukwu Nzelu, author of Here Again Now

”'Such a beautiful novel … about the journey we take to become who we truly are” - Elena Medel, author of The Wonders

‘Vivid, compassionate and compulsive' Rachel Dawson, author of Neon Roses -

”'Beautifully-written, heartbreaking and sometimes comedic” - Tawseef Khan, author of Determination

”'Bad Habit is a ballad, a quest, a revelation. It made me weep more than once” - Saba Sams, author of Send Nudes

”'A singular and raw voice … The most talked-about debut of the year” - Time Out Spain

”'Bad Habit is an engulfing novel. Portero had me captivated with her visceral prose” - Avni Doshi, author of Burnt Sugar

”'Brutal, tender, and vulnerable … Portero has written a masterpiece, an ode, a life-giving story of trans affirmation” - Marisa Crane, author of I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself