Bad Habits: An Evening with Alana S. Portero

Rosalie Dielesen
In collaboration with
Meridiaan Uitgevers

Alana S. Portero shows us that a ‘trans novel’ can be anything it wants to be, The New York Times wrote about Portero’s critically acclaimed debut novel Bad Habits. During this night we will speak with Portero on how literature helps us to imagine what life in between labels can look like.

For some time now, there have been books about transgender people, books that reduce our existence to something specific that needs to be analyzed. Fortunately, literature can be written from any corner of existence, and the life of the protagonist of Bad Habits seems more like yours than current events would have you believe. A quote by Spanish author Alana S. Portero on her coming-of-age novel about the journey that a trans woman undertakes to discover herself in a world that has no space for her. Set against the backdrop of a working-class family in the gritty neighborhood of San Blas in Madrid during the 80s and 90s.

During the evening Portero speaks about her work with people who have recognized something of themselves in her book, and with other writers and artists about interweaving fiction with social issues and identity.

About the guest

Alana S. Portero (1978, Madrid) studied Medieval Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She is a writer, playwright, director, and co-founder of the theater company Striga; hailing from the working class, Alana writes from the perspective of a trans woman for various publications such as Agente provocador,, S Moda, and Vogue. Bad Habits is her debut novel. Portero is in the Netherlands because of the translation of her book to the Dutch language: ‘Slechte gewoontes’.


Alana S. PorteroWriter
Lara Billie RenseRadio presenter and writer