In ‘Blackouts,’ one writer brings America’s hidden queer history to the forefront

Justin Torres’ new book, ‘Blackouts,’ brings America’s hidden queer history to the forefront by blending fact and fiction, and is a finalist for the National Book Awards.

The author: Torres, a writer, novelist, and associate professor at UCLA, first gained prominence thanks to his award-winning 2011 novel, ‘We The Animals.’
* His newest book, ‘Blackouts,’ dives into hidden aspects of queer history through the story of a dying man, Juan Gay, and the tale of real-life lesbian researcher and activist, Jan Gay.

The inspiration: Torres found inspiration for his book in a 1941 study titled ‘Sex Variance
* He found the pathological language used to describe homosexuality as a social disease disturbing, but was intrigued by the careful documentation of personal testimonies.
* This led him to use the concept of ‘blackout poems,’ where he redacted offending text from the study and reshaped the narrative.

What’s next: Torres hopes his book will spark readers’ curiosity about hidden queer history.
* He sees fiction as a means to “give you this kind of sense of being deeply enmeshed in the narrative potential of the past and the way that the past is speaking to the present moment.”
* ‘Blackouts’ is available now.

View original article on NPR

This summary was created by an AI system. The use of this summary is subject to our Terms of Service.

Contact us about this post






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *