Heartlands: A Gay Man's Odyssey Across America

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9780525935001: Heartlands: A Gay Man's Odyssey Across America
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A gay man recounts his observations while journeying across the country in search of the real gay America, describing the drag queens, cowboys, trappers, oil workers, and others he met along the way.

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From Publishers Weekly:

For three years, activist and journalist Rist sought to observe the lives of gay people outside the commonly portrayed big-city communities. His often gripping but sometimes meandering travelogue, laced with autobiographical reflections, begins in San Francisco, where he departs the Castro district, the all-American gay hometown, in order to meet Latino and poor gays. Rist not only captures the texture of gay life in places such as Reno, Nev., and Tupelo, Miss.; he has epiphanies-observing an inept Coors flack politicize a group of lackadaisical gay cowboys (the PR man ..made insulted activists out of them-at least for the day), interviewing a gay prisoner who killed a schoolmate who attacked and outs&' him, and meeting a father whose letter to then Vice-President Bush about AIDS and his dead son is queerly, improbably eloquent. When he draws conclusions-which he claims as ..magnificent discoveries-gist lapses into portentous prose, but his trip forces him to reconsider his previous, perhaps na:fve belief in gay brotherhood: most men he met had more in common with their neighbors than with all the other homosexual men I had ever known. Author
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Rist's account of his soul-searching journey across the United States is as much an autobiographical revelation as it is the intended search for a definable gay male community. It is the author's self-examination and the geographical descriptions of his travels that set this work apart from Neil Miller's In Search of Gay America ( LJ 4/15/89). Those who have read Miller's book may not find much new ground explored by Rist, but as Heartlands 's stories of personal courage and despair unfold, the reader's attention will not be lost. Encounters with small-town gay men are the most captivating contribution of this work. Rist, an AIDS and gay activist, falls short of proving the existence of a common bond among gay men but succeeds in offering an insightful introduction to the varied expressions of American gay life. Recommended for academic and public libraries of all sizes.
- Stephen Newcomer, Los Angeles P.L.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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