Gay Bar: Why We Went Out by Jeremy Atherton Lin
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"A beautiful amble through the world of gay bars . . . a rich tapestry of history, theory, and criticism." -- VANITY FAIR
"Playful, hilarious, arousing, shocking and challenging."
-- THE FACE
Strobing lights and dark rooms; throbbing house and drag queens on counters; first kisses, last call: the gay bar has long been a place of solidarity and sexual expression--whatever your scene, whoever you're seeking. But in urban centers around the world, they are closing, a cultural demolition that has Jeremy Atherton Lin wondering: What was the gay bar? How have they shaped him? And could this spell the end of gay identity as we know it?
In Gay Bar, the author embarks upon a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub, and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and dazzling as a disco ball, he time-travels from Hollywood nights in the 1970s to a warren of cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s; from chichi bars in the aftermath of AIDS to today's fluid queer spaces; through glory holes, into Crisco-slicked dungeons and down San Francisco alleys. He charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out--and a chance encounter one restless night that would change his life forever.
The journey that emerges is a stylish and nuanced inquiry into the connection between place and identity--a tale of liberation, but one that invites us to go beyond the simplified Stonewall mythology and enter lesser-known battlefields in the struggle to carve out a territory. Elegiac, randy, and sparkling with wry wit, Gay Bar is at once a serious critical inquiry, a love story and an epic night out to remember.
3.30 cms H x 21.08 cms L x 14.22 cms W (0.41 kgs) 320 pages, Hardcover, Feburary 2021.
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