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Love in a Different Climate : Men Who Have Sex with Men in India Hardcover – July 17, 1999

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; First Edition edition (July 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859848370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859848371
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,958,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This book is intensely moving and often painful, but also uplifting. It combines wonderful insight with a tremendous sense of the sheer weight of history ... and a subtle but powerful analysis of the political and cultural context. It is a passionate read.”—Jeffrey Weeks, author of Invented Moralities

From the Publisher

An important jolt to Western determinism. Jeremy Seabrook's name is well known both in India and in Britain for his work on the effects of globalization and Western consumer culture. In this carefully researched and finely written book he brings his approach to bear on the relatively untouched subject of working and middle-class Indian men's sexual encounters with each other. In doing so he clearly highlights the lack of any easy comparison with Western models of gay culture and so reveals, through these interviews, the complexity of homosexuality in general. Love in a Different Climate, examining a very transitional community, is a critical and telling intervention in the topical debates of cultural imperialism, sexual identity, gender construction, and globalization. With the advantage of fluent Hindi, and a much-praised knowledge of the country, as well as his personal sympathies as a gay man, Jeremy Seabrook passionately records and contextualizes the voices of men and women who deal daily with this subject: men who have sex with men (including 'khotis', those who are penetrated), their wives, fundamentalist politicians who curse the Western influence of 'gay liberation', and activist groups. The result is ot only an important jolt to Western determinism but a practical initiative, by the greater understanding of human sexualities, in the international fight to combat AIDS.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mark Carlson on April 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Seabrook charts territory never before navigated in a book (to my knowledge), the stories of men who have sex with men in India. This is not about the cross-dressing hijras, who have garnered a lot of attention, but more conventionally masculine Indian men who have sex with men and how they understand themselves and their behavior. Seabrook sat in a cruising park and solicited the stories of the men who visited there so he obtains information from men who would be hard to connect with otherwise. While he admirably doesn't try to make the stories fit a preconcieved ideology of sexuality, there is not a single chapter title or subheading to help organize the material, so you are left to browse the entire book to refind an interesting passage. Seabrook also makes little effort to contextualize his interviews with previous research on the subject--no footnotes or index here either. So as a source of intriguing and sometimes compelling vignettes and a source of raw material to do your own analysis the book is great. I think it could have been a lot more with a little extra effort without diminishing its groundbreaking strengths.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William A. Stephens on April 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
About the only useful information contained in this book pertains to the description, generally, of the very hard life of India's poor living in the cities -- and of their limited access to sexual or intimate contacts with others.

The material is largely anecdotal, and the underlying premise that "gay" life is so very different in India due to cultural or family traditions (and obligations) draws little support from the material presented.

In the first place, most (if not nearly all) of the interviews of the subjects take place in one public park in Delhi. As an attorney who has represented hundreds of gay men charged with sex acts occurring in public parks (and other public places similar to those described in this book), I found the author's conclusion that the MSM's (men who have sex with men) of India do so for a whole host of reasons differing from those which motivate such acts in America (and other Western nations) absurd and unsupported. Most of my clients over the years have been men who were married and who had children and believed themselves bound to the families they have created, or, who, for various reasons never connected with the "gay life," or who were bisexual and who found living in the gay community unsatisfying, or who simply could not fully acknowledge to themselves that they were gay (that is, "come out"), or who were actively "hustling" gay men for money in exchange for sex -- that is, having sex with other men for one or more of the reasons stated by the author's interviewees.

Poorly written, unsubstantiated, and nearly a complete waste of the purchase price (I say "nearly" because I did get a sense from this book of how difficult life must be for the overworked and underpaid who constitute a majority of India's city dwellers).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By So. Calif book reader on January 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really had to ask myself why this book was written after reading it because it doesn't really come to much in the way of conclusions, and it doesn't change anything. He just interviews a lot of mainly closeted or outcast men about their homosexual experiences. Most of the men are straight and married and do it 'just for release' and/or knowing that nothing will ever be different for them. There is no gay life so to speak in India and apparantly they don't want it. You don't really learn anything from this book, except I suppose that if you want to live an open homosexual life, you'll need to move to the UK or the US.
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