Queer, There, and Everywhere is so conversational, fast paced, and infused with pop culture sensibilities that it tricks you into forgetting it’s a series of (incredibly timely) biographies. An absolute must-read for people interested in their queer forebears.
Accessible, irreverent, and meticulously researched, at times heartbreaking and just as often wildly funny, this stunningly diverse survey of queer histories is a nourishing and inspiring addition to our arsenal of queer possibilities. Should be required reading for all of us, queer or not.
A valuable resource for all those queer kids out there. Let them know they are not alone. Let them know they have a history. This book is a lifeline and a gift.
Wow. It isn’t easy to tell stories from across time and space of lives we would now call queer. Much less in an I-can’t-put-this-book-down way. Sarah Prager has done it, showing us all how to ‘live bravely.’
Reading this book is like discussing history with a really good (and really smart) friend—free of pretentiousness, full of wisdom, dispatched in a casual, but informative way. Queer, There, and Everywhere is a desperately needed and absolutely brilliant breath of fresh air. A must-read!
Sarah Prager tells us 23 fascinating stories, some of them new twists on familiar ones (like Abraham Lincoln) as well as ones about figures that history has nearly forgotten (like the Roman Emperor Elagabalus), mixing light-hearted humor with impeccable scholarship.
A powerful, educational book about the lives of 23 LGBTQ people who made important contributions to our society. This is an essential tool to educate the world about our LGBTQ heroes and leaders.
In this delightful and accessible book, Prager introduces us to a wide and diverse assortment of 23 historical figures who challenged the gender and/or sexuality norms of their time and place and changed the world. I enjoyed every story.
This is a great book about some remarkable people who show us the actual diversity of real life. Gender isn’t nearly as straightforward as most people pretend it is!
★ “Written with a pop culture sensibility that will appeal to teen readers, the collection is a fascinating look at history through a different lens than what most history books provide. Hurray for Sarah Prager’s own splendid contribution to queer history!
First-time author Prager delivers a rich exploration of gender identity and sexuality across time and nation, focusing on 23 queer individuals from different eras and using a broad definition of queerness (“anyone outside society’s gender and sexuality norms”). Among those highlighted are Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln (“Abraham and Joshua were ‘intimate friends,’ an antiquated relationship term... one step above a bromance”), and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as baseball player Glenn Burke, blues musician Ma Rainey, queer rights pioneer Sylvia Rivera, and actor George Takei. These snapshots—sometimes irreverent in tone, but always respectful of the people and relationships they discuss—offer strong insight into the lives of individuals who broke barriers or simply lived life on their own terms. Ages 13–up. Author’s agent: Carrie Howland, Empire Literary. (May)
Gr 7 Up–Short and straightforward profiles of queer figures throughout history, ranging from ancient and obscure to modern and well known. The people profiled represent a diverse set of ethnicities and gender and sexual identities, living up to the term queer in its full meaning. The historical background provided is very readable but cursory and occasionally inconsistently presented. Some profiles focus on the individuals' queer identity, while others put the emphasis on their historical impact. For example, Joan of Arc's military career is thoroughly explained while her preference for men's clothes is only mentioned. The tone of the book is positive and lighthearted despite the many unhappy endings but at times can come across as glib ("The relationship between queer people and the Catholic church was…um, strained during Father Mike's life, to say the least"). With the exception of a few references to sexual acts, the content is appropriate for a wide range of ages, particularly if the book is used in a guided or teaching context. Each chapter opens with a graphic novel—like line portrait of the subject by O'Ferrall. Overall, the title distinguishes itself from materials that take a traditional approach to history that often ignores or omits mention of sexual or gender identity. VERDICT An enjoyable and accessible, if inconsistent, introduction to an important side of history. Public and school libraries will strongly want to consider, both for re-creation and education.—Amy Diegelman, formerly at Vineyard Haven Public Library, MA
For as long as there's been air, there's been Queer; in acknowledgment, Prager offers 23 short biographies of individuals who changed their world and ours.From the teenage Roman emperor Elagabalus, who identified as female and loved both men and women in the third century C.E., to gay social-media activist, playwright, and actor George Takei, Prager profiles historical (only three are still alive) personages who challenged the heteronormative pressures of their times to differing degrees. A president who had a boyfriend as a young man (Abraham Lincoln) and a president's wife who loved women and created the role of the modern first lady (Eleanor Roosevelt), along with artists, scientists, sports figures, musicians, activists, and queens (both royal and drag), are presented in their historical contexts and carefully referred to as they referred to themselves. From the introductory essay to the glossary, Prager carefully endnotes everything and provides further reading and watching online as well as an extensive bibliography. All is presented in a breezy, conversational tone that will engage teens and make them laugh while they learn whether they're queer themselves or queer allies. Should be placed in the hands of every LGBTQ teen so they'll know that not only are they not alone, but they have a rich and diverse history—as well as the straight ones, who should know that history too. (Nonfiction. 12-18)