Peyton Thomas is an author and journalist based in Toronto. His debut novel Both Sides Now was named a young adult book to watch for by the New York Times, one of the top ten young adult books of 2021 by the Globe and Mail, and one of the best Canadian young adult books of 2021 by the CBC. It is available now from Dial Books and Penguin Teen Canada.
Peyton's writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Billboard, and Pitchfork, among other publications. He was a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow and a 2014 recipient of the Norma Epstein Foundation Award in Creative Writing. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 2015, majoring in political science and sexual diversity studies. He is a proud member of the Louisa May Alcott Society, the International David Foster Wallace Society, and the Canadian Children's Book Centre.
Peyton also hosts Jo's Boys, a podcast about Little Women and the novel's unsung queer and trans legacy.
You can see Peyton at the David Foster Wallace Conference in Austin, Texas from June 2-4, 2022.
Praise for Both Sides Now
"Queer issues are given center stage, evoking the lived experiences of many in a sensitive and sympathetic way... Emotionally charged and politically relevant, this is a must read."
"A young adult book to watch for."
"Thomas's book is lively, funny and puts the reader - and this great central character - into necessarily uncomfortable places."
"One of the best Canadian YA books of the year."
"A heady, heartfelt whirlwind of smarts, soul, and contemporary queer coming-of-age adventure."
—Kai Cheng Thom, author of Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir
"Thomas' debut is achingly vulnerable... There's no debate: Both Sides Now is a compelling, heartfelt must-read."
—Booklist (starred review)
"Thomas's nerdy, funny, ambitious queer teens stun me with how realistically they love and fear each other... Bright, funny, savvy, and wholehearted."
—Hal Schrieve, author of Out of Salem
"Debut author Thomas's conversational writing style is highly engaging and should draw readers in with a compelling story of self-realization and a bit of youthful romance."
"A delightful YA read."
"This coming-of-age romance poignantly depicts self-discovery and finding your place in the world."
"I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more! There's no debating it, this is a hilarious and heartfelt story about love and accepting yourself."
—Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All the Best and The Ghosts We Keep
"In this sharp and emotional first novel... Thomas doesn't pull any punches on difficult topics and never once reduces his characters to objects of pity. Instead, he depicts teenagers who are working hard to find their places in a world that has thrown obstacle after obstacle in their paths. The novel balances serious political conversations and scenes of moving emotional hardship with moments of comedy and a spirit of true camaraderie."
"Peyton Thomas's debut novel is a wonderfully nuanced exploration of what it means to be a transgender teen... Both Sides Now is an impressive debut that focuses on fully realized trans and queer characters, with a high-stakes plot that will keep readers invested until the very end."
"Deeply moral without sacrificing complexity, and with a beautiful slow-burn romance at its core, this is a book no queer teen will want to miss."
—Naomi Kanakia, author of We Are Totally Normal and Enter Title Here
"A sharp, witty narrative... full of cerebral teens with big plans and snark to spare."
"Thomas writes with effortless ease; his convincing characters have notably diverse traits and he's clear that what they are doesn't necessarily define who they are."
"[Thomas] offers a heartfelt, witty debut novel in this compelling coming-of-age tale of a trans teen coming into his own."
"An excellent, engaging read. And I just can't help but feel a particular affection for a kid who dreams of egging Mitch McConnell's house."
Album Reviews for Pitchfork
U2's "Zooropa" for Pitchfork's Sunday Review (2020)
Rostam's "4Runner" for Pitchfork's Best Songs of 2021
Soccer Mommy's "color theory" for Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2020
Denzel Curry's "ZUU" for Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2019
Sleater-Kinney's "Hurry on Home" for Pitchfork's Best Songs of 2019
"Netflix's I Am Not Okay With This Turns 1980s Pop Anthems Into Lesbian Love Songs" for Pitchfork (2020)
Stars, Stripes, and "Salaam, RuPaul Joon!": A Niche Interview with Jackie Cox for the Niche (2020)
"What Will It Take to Get a Gay Character in Star Wars?" for Vanity Fair (2017)
"Ordinary Person, Wild Radical" for the Atavist (2018)
How this Trans Author Came to Terms with His Acne for the Advocate (2021)
How to Find a Rabbit: A Niche Interview with John Paul Brammer for the Niche (2021)
Greatest Hits for the Niche: