Friday, February 22, 2019

Book Review: 'In Search of STONEWALL: The Riots at 50 The Gay & Lesbian Review at 25 Best Essays, 1994-2018' (Edited by Richard Schneider, Jr.)

In Search of STONEWALL by Richard Schneider Jr.
Honoring a monumental publication

Editor Richard Schneider Jr. has assembled a selection of essays from the past twenty five years issues of the Gay & Lesbian Review and in doing so he connects the coincidence of the founding of the important periodical on the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – that event that served as the founding event of the LGBT movement.

As he states in his Introductory comments, ‘I’ve chosen the title “In Search of Stonewall” for this collection because it seems to me that the events of 1969 remain elusive in at least two ways. First, there is the journalistic question of just what happened on the night of June 28th (who started the riot, what happened next, etc.). Second, because “Stonewall” exists as a symbol of the LGBT movement quite apart form the historic event itself, the search is always on for the meaning of Stonewall as it was first conceived and has evolved over the years. If nothing else, it is a marker in historical time with a clearly defined “before” and “after.” But to imply that Stonewall interrupted the flow of history, single-handedly resetting the LGBT calendar, is to pile a lot of responsibility onto a single event or era. Still, something happened, and it happened quite rapidly and even magically after the riots, so in this sense the search for Stonewall can also be a desire to reconnect with the overpowering energy and excitement of this period…’

What follows is a fascinating and informative selection of essays by such famous and celebrated authors as Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, John Rechy, Martin Duberman, Edmund White, Larry Kramer, Amy Hoffman and more. The essays are grouped into four parts – Flashpoint: New York City June 1969, Flashback: The Roots of the Riots, Flash Forward: Aftermath and Diffusion, and Stonewall’s Legacy: Whither the Revolution?

This is an important addition to the literature about the LGBT movement and more: this is a selection of excellent writings by significant authors who helped shape history. Recommended highly.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your

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