Because there’s nothing in the world quite like a victory lap and because we kind of have to put all this stuff together in a place that can be easily referred to, here’s a compilation of reviews and press surrounding our beautiful unicorn baby Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life. To say we are thrilled and gratified by the response is to understate things considerably. We are soaring through the clouds, riding a wave of relief, pride and gratitude, farting rainbows and glitter all the way.
Okay, that got a little away from us but can you blame us? We’re thrilled over here!
First, Ryan Carey-Mahoney at The Washington Post, with a review that actually made us cry (in a good way):
“With ‘Children,’ the married duo — known for their taste-making takes on television and fashion for over a decade on their blog Tom + Lorenzo — turn in a 250-plus page love letter to queer identity that uses Ru’s successful show as their entry point.”
“‘Children,’ however, never preaches to its readers. Fitzgerald and Marquez write as if they’re talking over mimosas at brunch. Their style is littered with drag terminology but remains endearing and honest. The book works hard to be authentic, even if its tone might not speak to everyone.”
“‘Legendary Children’ arrives at just the right time — both because season 12 of “Drag Race” just premiered and because the world needs authenticity in its stories. Fitzgerald and Marquez deliver that, giving readers an insight into the important but overlooked people who made our current moment possible.”
Literally the kind of review we’ve been praying for since January of 2019, when we launched this project. Not just because it’s full of praise, but because it tells us we hit every goal we had as writers. Such a wonderful feeling for two old bloggers who don’t get submitted to professional critique all that often (like, never).
Next on our victory lap, Katie Wudel of The Los Angeles Times, with a take that married a review of the book to a critique of the show:
“Though the book makes no claim to being a definitive text on queer history, it presents powerful (and fun!) new angles on pivotal moments, seamlessly woven into elements of the show. The “Lip Sync for Your Life” showdown gives Fitzgerald and Marquez the perfect excuse to revisit the illegal gay house parties of the early 20th century, in which proto-drag queens could put on a record, pantomime freely and pretend to sing their hearts out. The chapter about the show’s hilarious Library mini-challenge, in which contestants “read” — or gracefully insult — each other in the grand tradition of the 1991 documentary “Paris Is Burning,” is an epic master class on throwing shade and the queens who threw it best. (If you haven’t yet heard of Crystal LaBeija or her devious takedown of a privileged white queen named Rachel Harlow, I recommend you hold off on Googling; the witty, insightful breakdown in the book is worth waiting for.) Even the Pit Crew, those scantily clad muscular men who wordlessly attend to “Drag Race” contestants’ every need, is granted meaningful roots in the fetishistic portraiture of Robert Mapplethorpe and erotic sketches of Tom of Finland.”
“For a book about reality television, “Legendary Children” is unusually ambitious — an obsessively detailed portrait of modern LGBTQ life and how it came to be.”
And Molly Sprayregen of The Associated Press came in with a succinct, no-frills review that hit the mark perfectly (for us, anyway):
“It’s a delightful and important look at the way past queens and other queer folk have shaped not only drag but also queer life as we know it.
Fitzgerald and Marquez have crafted a world in which drag queens are heroes – fighting for equality and looking fierce and fabulous while doing it. It’s a history well told, one that is approachable and enjoyable for all to digest. The prose is upbeat and makes a reader as excited about the history as the authors so clearly are.”
And if all that weren’t enough, just as we were recovering from a whirlwind first week, the Sunday New York Times dropped this happy surprise on our perky asses:
— Tom & Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) March 8, 2020
So, just to recap: Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, is (according to the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Associated Press):
“Endearing and honest!”
“Delightful and important!”
“A history well told!”
“An epic master class!”
Using language that is:
“Upbeat!” and “Approachable and enjoyable!” like “talking over mimosas at brunch!”
Just so we’re clear.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go scream at a high-pitched tone that only very happy gays can hear.