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Eating Fire ~ Kelly J. Cogswell

January 10, 2018

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Genre: Non-Fiction/Activism/LGBTQAI
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
237 pages
ISBN: 9780816691159
Source: Charis Books

A young, starry-eyed Kentucky twenty-something lands in New York City in the early nineties, sketchbook, guitar, and dreams in her pockets. In the grunge and starlight of the ACT-UP era, Kelly Cogswell runs in and out of light and shadows with her merry band of Lesbian Avengers, artists, and writers, finding her home and finding herself in the process.

Sounds good, right?

It sounds like fiction and reads like it, too. I’m sure there is some flowery prose added to some of the elements of the book but I tracked down events and names and dates and, yes, folks this is really Kelly’s life.

I ended up picking this up for a paper, last semester, and it has become one of my favorite recommendations.

Though the queer culture of New York and the time period vary from other times and places, the narrative and energy and action are so clearly representative of the queer communities we’ve all encountered, in one form or another. I find so many narratives written by men for these communities which is great in and of itself, however, it’s sometimes very needed to have that strong, clear, queer female voice singing out for this purpose.

I’m really glad I’m back to reviewing, going into this semester so I can work a little real-life work into the fictional stuff. Especially the sexuality fiction, but the harder stuff in general, is always better taken with a lot of the true history behind the concept.

 

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