Never by Itself Alone: Queer Poetry, Queer Communities in Boston and the Bay Area, 1944--Present (Hardcover)

Never by Itself Alone: Queer Poetry, Queer Communities in Boston and the Bay Area, 1944--Present By David Grundy Cover Image
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Providing an unprecedented exploration of key moments in queer literary history, Never By Itself Alone changes our sense of both the American literary and political landscapes from the late 1940s through the 21st century. Grundy presents the first comprehensive history of post-war queer writing in Boston and San Francisco, intertwining analysis of lesbian, gay, and queer writing, and insisting on the link between activism and literature.

The book centers a host of underrepresented writers, especially writers of color and those with gender non-conforming identities, and challenges the Stonewall exceptionalism of queer historiography. Starting with Robert Duncan's 1944 essay, 'The Homosexual in Society', one of the first significant public defenses of homosexuality in the US, Grundy takes the reader through pioneering works by queer voices of the era, including Adrian Stanford's Black and Queer, the first published book by an out, Black gay poet in the US; the Boston collective Fag Rag and their radical reconsideration of family, private property and the State; the Combahee River Collective, whose Black Feminist analysis drew together race, class, and sexuality; the anthology This Bridge Called My Back, in which women of color spoke truth to power, together; and New Narrative writing, which audaciously mixed Marxism, porn and gossip while uniting against the New Right. Linking these works to the context which produced them, Grundy uncovers the communities formed around activism and small press publishing during this era and elevates neglected voices to narrate a history that before now has never been told in its entirety.

Drawing on extensive archival research, Never By Itself Alone is a rigorous and unmatched work of both literary criticism and queer scholarship which underscores the vital importance of radical accounts of race, class, and gender in any queer studies worthy of the name.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780197654842
ISBN-10: 0197654843
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: July 12th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English