Books for Pride Month

Walter, 1914

The New Jersey Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.,has recommended Imagining Gay Paradise as one of five books to buy to kick off Pride Month.

It’s a bit of an odd review in that it suggests that one theme of the book is that oppressed gay men in Europe and the U.S. who sought out paradises in Southeast Asia were often tragically disappointed. But that was not true of Walter Spies, the major European character who helped transform the image of Bali into that of an aesthetic paradise, nor of the major American character, Darrell Berrigan, who thoroughly enjoyed Bangkok.  Both of their lives did end tragically — Spies died due to an unjust Dutch detention and a Japanese bomb during World War II; Berrigan died at the hands of a gay hustler.

But does that mean the men were tragically disappointed in the paradises they had imagined in Southeast Asia and would have preferred to stay at home?  I don’t think so. Both in fact successfully re-imagined the meaning of “home” in Southeast Asia.

Read the Star-Ledger review here. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s