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Autobiography of an Androgyne / Edition 1

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Overview


First printed in 1918, Ralph Werther's Autobiography of an Androgyne charts his emerging self-understanding as a member of the "third sex" and documents his explorations of queer underworlds in turn-of-the-century New York City. Werther presents a sensational life narrative that begins with a privileged upper-class birth and a youthful realization of his difference from other boys. He concludes with a decision to undergo castration. Along the way, he recounts intimate stories of adolescent sexual encounters with adult men and women, escapades as a reckless "fairie" who trolled Brooklyn and the Bowery in search of working-class Irish and Italian immigrants, and an immersion into the subculture of male "inverts." This new edition also includes a critical introduction by Scott Herring that situates the text within the scientific, historical, literary, and social contexts of urban American life in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Tracing how this pioneering autobiography engages with conversations on immigration, gender, economics, metropolitan working-class culture, and the invention of homosexuality across class lines, this edition is ideal for courses on topics ranging from Victorian literature to modern American sexuality.
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Editorial Reviews

Emory University - Michael Moon

Scott Herring's strategically brilliant introduction to this new edition of Autobiography of an Adrogyne provides a valuable measure of the advances made in sexuality studies in recent decades. He shows particular brilliance in his analysis of the work as a remarkable kind of literary hybrid, mixing elements of popular formula fiction with avant-garde fields of nascent psychologies and sociologies of sex at the end of the nineteenth century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813542997
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Series: Subterranean Lives
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.74 (d)

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