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The Drag Explosion by Linda Simpson

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A riotous and revealing collection of photographs from the drag scene of the late 80s and early 90s in New York. New York's memorable drag scene of the 1980s and '90s reigns once again in this volume of photos from Linda Simpson, who spent the era in the middle of the action taking snapshots just for fun. The vivid images capture wild nightlife, queer activism, pop culture moments and many colorful characters as they joyfully push the boundaries of gender expression, including Lady Bunny, RuPaul, Lypsinka and Leigh Bowery . Ultimately, his collection is a tribute to a golden age, when drag evolved from an underground art form to a mainstream sensation and paved the way for today's drag renaissance . “Drag queens were no longer content to be confined to the periphery. Now they walked boldly across the country, their size 12 platform shoes landing with each step with a loud thud. Linda Simpson's photos from her formative drag years have been featured in books, magazines, art exhibitions and documentaries, as well as her own tour slideshow. Her first book, PAGES, was published by Peradam in 2013. She has also worked as a nightlife promoter, journalist, playwright, actress and game show host. Performer, DJ, journalist and activist Lady Bunny moved from Atlanta to New York in the mid-1980s and founded Wigstock shortly after. According to Vogue, "Its no-bullshit politics and subversive humor wouldn't cut the mustard on national television, but for many drag purists, it represents the heart of what drag is." Tavia Nyong'o writes about performance and art through the lens of blackness and queerness in popular and academic venues. He is chair and professor of theater and performance studies at Yale University. His books include: The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance and the Ruses of Memory (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life (NYU Press, 2019).


11.5 x 1 x 8 inches

250 pages

ISBN: 9781734728545

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