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Hardcover Queer 13: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade Book

ISBN: 0688158110

ISBN13: 9780688158118

Queer 13: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Forward by Dale Peck Seventh grade: You remember it, don't you? Sweet sixteen seemed impossibly far away, an elegant, unattainable future. All that we had was the doldrums of thirteen -- not so sweet, and definitely queer. Now, some of the finest observers of the gay experience take us back to the homerooms and hallways of our youth, in a collection of original essays that captures that time of adolescence when social and sexual development was at...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Questions of Upbringing

Some of the intent of this collection was psychological investigation. The editor, Clifford Chase was looking for memories of "that key transitional moment." There are certainly many questions that arise from studying the early adolescence of homosexual child. How does it arise that gay males have constellations of interests in particular fields? Why the liberal arts rather than the physical sciences? Why acting rather than football? Is this really true or is it a prejudiced stereotype? How and why do effeminate or butch mannerisms arise? Does the gay student need to be protected from peer persecution? Are segregated high schools justified.? A taboo question is that of "nature or nurture?" Many gays get annoyed if we even consider the possibility of homosexuality being other than inborn, although some transsexuals are liable to insist that sex roles are social constructs and that a chromatin negative person can choose to be a female. The collection does not answer all these questions or identify a key moment. What is does have, and which may be a homosexual trait, is superb literary merit. Every story is a gem. Most of the memories are surprisingly benign and many of the childhoods are remembered as pleasant. Recollections of being "scowled and smirked at" in gym class, such as that of Ralph Sassons, are counterbalanced by the titillating voyeuristic pleasures of such settings. The only horrendous abuse, in Justin Chins "The Beginning of my Worthlessness" was not inflicted as a penalty for effeminacy although it fed into a later feeing of homosexuality as a stigma. (By the way the book "Peace from Nervous Suffering" that Sassons' mother found helpful is by Claire Weekes, an Australian pschiatrist, and I have often recommended it.)

Great Collection

I am not a fan of the short story form, preferring the long immersion in fiction that novels offer. This book is one of the few exceptions. I received it as a gift and am glad I did. The stories are thematically related and the writing is uniformly superior. These tales so capture the deliciousness, awkwardness, hope, and disappointments of budding adolescence that I imagine anyone could relate.

Brillant collection

These writers have captured the pain and anguish of being a teen. The collection will bring back memories and stay with you long after you finish the last story. It's a must have for anyone interested in the developing psyche of gay youth. I wish this collection was around when I was 13. Some of the stories are erotic, others painful and uplifting but all of them are well written and offered from the heart. Worth reading!

13--What a Year...

My first reaction to QUEER 13 was: "Oh god, 13? Seventh grade...What a year that was..." Thirteen was one of those years that only now I can begin to appreciate and laugh at. I don't know if I'd like to relive it though. And this is perhaps why I was so hesitant to pick this book up. But I'm glad that I did. The stories are all beautiful. There isn't one that stands out the most because they are all so good (most are bittersweet--prepare yourself). I found myself crying and laughing and most of all remembering my own experience while reading this book. I highly recommend this collection be read by all.

Memory Lane

What a wonderful collection. It evokes all the hazy confusion, awkward self-awareness, and occassional moments of innocent joy that are part of growing up gay. A great book to share with teens who may be struggling with issues of identity and difference.
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