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A Restricted Country Paperback – May, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Joan Nestle is a co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, NY, and her passion for remembering and honoring lesbian life and culture can be seen in this collection. From the perspective of a witness/participant in the pre-Stonewall era of gay life in NYC, Nestle recreates the courage and the struggles of lesbians to find each other and create community in the '50s and '60s. Nestle's writing is beautiful and moving; this book is unique.
I highly recommend this book for everyone who wants an understanding of lesbian life and culture during these particular years; I especially recommend this book for younger lesbians and gay men who are interested in understanding the lives and sacrifices of the generation previous, who helped create what we know and enjoy as contemporary lesbian and gay culture.
She lived during trying times, and fought against the pressures of the world to control who she was. There is something to say about discovering who we are, and why we are unique. Self discovery is lost is a lot of biographies which focus on the political and bitterness of the conforming pain. However Joan highlights these in a way that seems more human; she talks about where she was and what she was doing when something happened. When we think about 9/11 we might recall ourselves in a place or undertaking some task, that otherwise would have gone unremarkable. This marks patterns of growth in her personality as well as her style in her writing.
To put yourself in her shoes as a child, and then a few pages later be walking around the city as a teenager comes with great flow and ease. The mistake I make as a reader is when a work sets me back and I fall out of the narrative. I like feeling engaged and part of the story, so pages disappear, and suddenly the last few pages of the book are passing and I can't recall where the rest went. With this story I flew through the pages, they seemed real, and left little bias on me as a reader. She covers the scenarios really well and I recommend others to pick up the book and change your outlook.
The message of sex; as taboo as it is, definitely has it's place in the world. Joan Nestle leaves no leaf in that category uncovered.
The last entry "Hope" has such power - of desire and spirit that you eagerly want more from this tremendous talent.
I bought this book because it is recommended reading by Tee A. Corinne in her anthology `Lovers - love and sex stories' making special mention of "the density and complex levels of caring" in the story `Esther'.
Synopsis -In this collection of stories, speeches and personal essays, Joan Nestle covers her experiences in the civil rights, feminist, and gay and lesbian rights movements, from the 1950s through the 1980s. She writes about the struggle, the sense of working together, and the real changes in society that came about because she and others took a stand. A RESTRICTED COUNTRY has been considered an essential book since its publication in the late 1980s.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Joan Nestles "A Restricted Country" is an excellent display of the struggles of a young woman torn between society's demands to conform to traditional female roles and being true... Read morePublished on May 15, 2011 by Amanda P.
The one word I would use to describe this book is raw. Joan Nestle really does not hold anything back in her writing and really captures the reader in showing how hard it was being... Read morePublished on May 5, 2011 by Jocelyn