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Gay Bar Reviews

Gay Bar by Jeremy Atherton Lin

Gay Bar: Why We Went Out

Jeremy Atherton Lin

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publication date: 4 Mar 2021
ISBN: 9781783785810

'Brilliantly written and incisive' Colm Toibin 'An absolute tour de force' Maggie Nelson

3 stars out of 5
17 Apr 2021

"Jeremy Atherton Lin recalls the vitality of the gay bars in London and California even at the height of the Aids crisis"

Lin quotes the journalist June Thomas who wrote in 2011: ‘I can’t help wondering whether, as gay rights move forward, the gay bar — the place where it all began —may get left behind.’ That has happened, but not just because our rights have advanced. ... The book is an impressive debut, though not without fault. The narrative zips around confusingly, often dropping in the odd fact about 13th-century hostelries that feel out of place. But Gay Bar is a good shot of nostalgia for those of us who were there, and a history lesson for those who grew up with Grindr.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Peter Conrad
21 Mar 2021

"Lin summons sights and smells from San Francisco to London in a gloriously multifaceted memoir"

Gay Bar exemplifies the multidimensionality Lin admires: it’s at once erotically gamey and intellectually playful, combining soft porn with social theory, semen with semiotics. “Being homo,” as Lin smartly puts it, “did not amount to being the same.” No, it also licenses you to be different or, in Lin’s case, to be utterly unique.