Publications

    In the Country of Women: A Memoir
    Straight, Susan. In the Country of Women: A Memoir. New York: Catapult, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "In inland Southern California, near the desert and the Mexican border, Susan Straight, a self-proclaimed book nerd, and Dwayne Sims, an African American basketball player, started dating in high school. After college, they married and drove to Amherst, Massachusetts, where Straight met her teacher and mentor, James Baldwin, who encouraged her to write. Once back in Riverside, at driveway barbecues and fish fries with the large, close-knit Sims family, Straight--and eventually her three daughters--heard for decades the stories of Dwayne's female ancestors. Some women escaped violence in post-slavery Tennessee, some escaped murder in Jim Crow Mississippi, and some fled abusive men. Straight's mother-in-law, Alberta Sims, is the descendant at the heart of this memoir. Susan's family, too, reflects the hardship and resilience of women pushing onward--from Switzerland, Canada, and the Colorado Rockies to California. A Pakistani word, biraderi, is one Straight uses to define a complex system of kinship and clan--those who become your family. An entire community helped raise her daughters. Of her three girls, now grown and working in museums and the entertainment industry, Straight writes, "The daughters of our ancestors carry in their blood at least three continents. We are not about borders. We are about love and survival." In the Country of Women is a valuable social history and a personal narrative that reads like a love song to America and indomitable women." -- from Jacket.
    Gay Bar: Why We Went Out
    Lin, Jeremy Atherton. Gay Bar: Why We Went Out. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "Strobing lights and dark rooms, drag queens on counters, first kisses, last call; the gay bar has long been a place of solidarity and sexual expression. Now they are closing, a cultural demolition that has Jeremy Atherton Lin wondering: Could this spell the end of gay identity as we know it? In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and dazzling as a disco ball, the author embarks on a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. Gay Bar time-travels from Hollywood nights in the 1970s to a warren of cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s; from chichi bars in the wake of AIDS to today's fluid queer spaces; through glory holes, into Crisco-slicked dungeons and down San Francisco alleys. Atherton Lin charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out--and a chance encounter one restless night that would change his life forever. The journey that emerges is an inquiry into the link between place and identity, inviting us to go beyond Stonewall and enter the underground"--adapted from book jacket.