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Fire Island: A Queer History

by Jack Parlett - £10.99  Granta Books (2023)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781783787029 | ISBN 10: 1783787023

Fire Island: a slim strip of land off the coast of New York, and a place of hedonism, reinvention, liberation.
 
Arriving on the island after a break-up back home in England, scholar and poet Jack Parlett was beguiled by what he found. Here were the halcyon scenes of Frank O’Hara’s poetry; the bars where Patricia Highsmith got drunk; the infamous cruising sites; and the dazzling beaches where couples had fallen in and out of love, free for a sun-kissed moment to be themselves in the time before gay liberation.
 
Tracing Fire Island’s rich history, Parlett leads the reader through the early days of the island’s life as a discreet home for same-sex love, to the wild parties of the post-Stonewall disco era, to the residents’ confrontation with the AIDS epidemic, and into a present where a host of new challenges threaten the island’s future.
 
Lyrical and vivid, Fire Island is a hymn to an iconic destination, and to the men and women whose ardour and determination spread freedom across its shores.

(Price & availability last checked: March 2024)

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In booklists: Gay Lives & Histories,
In categories: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality & Transgender, Men & Masculinity,

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