112th: Alex Espinoza on Cruising
Join us at Book Culture on 112th on Monday, June 17th at 7pm as we welcome Alex Espinoza to read from and discuss his new book, Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime.
Espinoza's book stands out as a beacon for future queer writers, thinkers, and activists. Reading these accounts, I felt myself drawn into a past both wonderful and strange, a world I hope we will continue to celebrate and preserve." --Garrard Conley
Acclaimed author Alex Espinoza takes readers on an uncensored journey through the underground, to reveal the timeless art of cruising. Combining historical research and oral history with his own personal experience, Espinoza examines the political and cultural forces behind this radical pastime. From Greek antiquity to the notorious Molly houses of 18th century England, the raucous 1970s to the algorithms of Grindr, Oscar Wilde to George Michael, cruising remains at once a reclamation of public space and the creation of its own unique locale--one in which men of all races and classes interact, even in the shadow of repressive governments. In Uganda and Russia, we meet activists for whom cruising can be a matter of life and death; while in the West he shows how cruising circumvents the inequalities and abuses of power that plague heterosexual encounters. Ultimately, Espinoza illustrates how cruising functions as a powerful rebuke to patriarchy and capitalism--unless you are cruising the department store restroom, of course.
Alex Espinoza is the author of the novels The Five Acts of Diego León and Still Water Saints, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Magazine, NPR, Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. His awards include a 2014 Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León. He lives in Los Angeles.