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In Edwin and John: A Personal History of the American South, award-winning author James T. Sears interweaves diaries, letters and poems to craft an innovative first-person narrative history that details the hard realities of growing up gay in the South during the early decades of the 20th century.
Set against the backdrop of World War II and the post-war South, Edwin and John, provides a unique and intimate approach to queer history by following the 50 year relationship between John Zeigler and Edwin Peacocke that carried them both from their roots in the conservative South, through service in World War II, and into a placid and loving literary life where they opened a bookshop in what was then the small town of Charleston, South Carolina. Edwin and John is a revealing look at queer history, detailing how these two men and their remarkable circle of close friends—which included some of the greatest writers and artists of their era including Prentiss Taylor, Carson McCullers, and John Bennett—endured war, intolerance, and jealousies, while living proud and public lives in far more conservative times.
List of Figures. Foreword. Acknowledgments. Introduction. I. The Early Years. 1. Clingman’s Dome. 2. A Cure? 3. What Must One Do? 4. The Incident. 5. Lean Wolf Hours. II. The War Years. 6. A Yeoman’s Journey. 7. Colorado Schooling. 8. Yakatut. 9. Cape Chiniak. 10. Reunion. 11. Edwin’s Discharge. 12. At Sea. III. Book Basement, Travels, and Beyond. 13. The Book Basement Years. 14. Last Years. Afterword. After Edwin. Notes. Index.