Fire Island: A Century in the Life of an American Paradise
" A] concise, meticulously researched, century-spanning chronicle of queer life on Fire Island captures, with a plain-spoken yet lyric touch, the locale's power to stun and shame, to give pleasure and symbolize evanescence." --Wayne Koestenbaum, New York Times Book Review
Fire Island, a thin strip of beach off the Long Island coast, has long been a vital space in the queer history of America. Both utopian and exclusionary, healing and destructive, the island is a locus of contradictions, all of which coalesce against a stunning ocean backdrop.
Now poet and scholar Jack Parlett tells the story of this iconic destination--its history, its meaning and its cultural significance--through the lens of the artists and creators who sought refuge on its shores. Together, figures as divergent as Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Carson McCullers, Frank O'Hara, Patricia Highsmith and Jeremy O. Harris tell the story of a queer space in constant evolution. Transporting, impeccably researched and gorgeously written, Fire Island is a fond and fierce portrait of an iconic American destination and an essential contribution to queer history.
"Supremely engaging and highly informative." --BuzzFeed
"A fascinating, throbbing history." --Olivia Laing