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These interviews provide a series of overlapping and complementary portraits, giving a vivid impression of male homosexual life in the earlier part of this century as recalled in later life by active participants. They are a unique source for a crucial period when the documentary evidence is limited either to the accounts of notorious scandals or the memoirs and biographies of literary and society homosexuals. The interviews are with ordinary people, from a variety of backgrounds and with differing political and social attitudes. Their memories and experiences give us exceptional insights into how homosexual men made sense of their needs and desires, and fashioned for themselves manageable personal and social identities.
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From 1885 until 1967 all homosexual acts in Britain were illegal and those bold enough to test the limits of the law were either imprisoned (Oscar Wilde) or ostracized (Quentin Crisp). This book chronicles the lives of 15 homosexual men who lived in England during this time and whose stories are drawn from extensive interviews conducted in the late 1970s. The interviewees recount in a series of bittersweet anecdotes what it was like growing up in a repressive society knowing they were different. These 15 separate journeys demonstrate that the road was often bumpy but that the destination was worth reaching. While the absence of lesbians demands another volume devoted to their testimony, there is no denying this is an important oral history text. Recommended for large nonfiction collections.
- Richard Drezen, Merrill Lynch Capital Markets Lib., New York
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Rivers Oram Press, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M185489093X