Cynthia Carr’s Candy Darling: Dreamer, Icon, Superstar
              McKenzie Wark
              I probably speak for many trans readers of Cynthia Carr’s biography of Candy Darling when I say that I have very mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, I’m grateful for Carr’s tireless work in documenting the life of Andy Warhol’s most luminous trans superstar. On the other hand, it’s painful to read page after page of people who hated Candy, abused her, insulted her, exploited her, or, on a good day, merely disrespected her. Born in 1944, Candy grew up on Long Island. Her father was an asshole. Her mother, at best, put up with her. She was one of those whom straight people, cis people, perceives as other from the start. High school was a torment. As a young Candy confided to her diary: “Nobody loves or understands me. This is a wicked world, I think.” She was right. The wicked world was out to crush her long before she could fashion herself as “Candy Darling.” Around 1962 she started taking the Long Island Railroad into Manhattan to escape, mostly to hang out around Washington Square. She started constructing a persona through which to survive: “I must learn to charm people in a quiet way.” Carr does …

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