£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Gay Bar is a brilliantly evocative fusion of cultural criticism, history and memoir telling the story of the gay bar, arguably on the brink of extinction.

In the era of Grindr and same-sex marriage, gay bars are closing down at an alarming rate. What, then, was the gay bar? Set between Los Angeles, San Francisco and London, Gay Bar takes us on a time-traveling, transatlantic bar hop through pulsing nightclubs, after-work dives, hardcore leather bars, gay cafes and saunas, asking what these places meant to their original clientele, what they meant to the author as a younger man and what they mean now.

In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and as dazzling as a disco ball, Atherton Lin conjures the strobing lights and the throbbing music, the smell and taste of tangles of male bodies, the rough and tender anonymous encounters, the costumes and categories – twink, top, masc, queen, tweaker, tourist, voyeur, exhibitionist – all the while tracking the protean aesthetics of masculinity and gayness. Along the way, he invites us to go beyond the simplified gay bar liberation mythology of Stonewall and enter the many other battlefields in the war to carve out space in which to exist, express and love as a gay man.

Elegiac, sexy and sparkling with wry wit, Gay Bar is at once a serious critical inquiry into how we construct ourselves through the spaces we inhabit and an epic night out to remember.

©2021 Jeremy Atherton Lin (P)2021 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"One of the best writers I've encountered, remaking the world sentence by immaculate sentence." (Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City)

"I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so happily surprised and enchanted by a book. Gay Bar is an absolute tour de force." (Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts)

"Jeremy Atherton Lin's personal history of queer nightlife is shot with vibrant intellectual adrenaline. With keen original insight, he celebrates the gay bar as a site of ribald, sensuous, and urgent resistance. A must-read for all." (Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings)

What listeners say about Gay Bar

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.