Kittens, our beautiful unicorn rainbow baby continues to garner praise, for which we are both relieved and grateful – especially since the continuation of our book tour is not likely, given the current climate and the spread of COVID-19. Doing our part to “flatten the curve,” we cancelled tonight’s DC appearance at Politics & Prose. Our University of Chicago appearance next month has been delayed until the fall and we’re still waiting to hear about Harrisburg and New Orleans later this month, although we wouldn’t bet on either. We were making plans to do a panel at Drag Con L.A., but that one’s off the table now as well.
Given all that, you can imagine our relief that first-week press was so excellent and that despite this PR setback (and our disappointment at abandoning plans we’ve been making for over a year), our baby is healthy, so to speak. First, Pajiba came in, with a fabulously detailed review, courtesy of Kayleigh Donaldson:
“For Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez, the savvy pair behind one of the great fashion sites in internet history, TomandLorenzo.com, the show is so much more. It’s a window into a far greater and more enriching world, and with their new book, Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, they want to introduce you to the great wide world of LGBTQ+ culture that RuPaul’s Drag Race is but a small part of.”
“Tom and Lorenzo are clearly huge fans of Drag Race. You only need to browse through their obsessively compiled and lovingly detailed recaps of the show to see that. They provide the background knowledge that many (let’s face it, straight) fans may not possess, and they respect the deeply layered roots of drag, from its esoteric influences to its political power. This is partly what makes the (all-too-short) book so gripping. RuPaul may say that drag is not a contact sport but Tom and Lorenzo get how necessary its forcefulness is in the face of systemic anti-queer rhetoric and legal reinforcements. The Stonewall Riots get their dues here, as do protests that precede it, such as the Compton’s Cafeteria riot. Crystal LaBeija’s endlessly quotable read is given its dues as a stand against the racism that permeated the early ballroom scene and remains depressingly evident in LGBTQ+ culture to this day. The cultural impact and bravery of early drag performers are applauded, reminding readers that there was a time when doing so was illegal.”
We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: a complimentary review is never not wonderful, but a review that understands what you were trying to do in the writing of the book is one that makes a writer’s heart soar. Writers don’t all necessarily want to be loved or even respected, but all of them want to be understood, even if they work to make it hard for the reader to do so. It’s the connection more than the compliments that matter.
Although we’re perfectly happy accepting the compliments.
Also, you can listen to our interview with Xorje Olivares of Sirius XM’s “Affirmative Reaction” here. Hear our thoughts on why the fandom of Drag Race absolutely needs (in our not so humble opinion) a book like Legendary Children to understand and confront the racism and ugliness in the fandom. Also: why we have such a soft spot for the “country queens” and which songs we’d lip sync to AND which one of us would unquestionably win.
And finally, a naked appeal for some help in promoting this gorgeous thing, now that our original plans had to be scrapped. If you’ve read or heard the book, thank you very much. Please consider a review for Goodreads or Amazon because every little bit helps; especially now that things are so weird. If you truly enjoyed it, share it on your social media or bring it up to your book club. If you have not read the book, boy are you in for a treat! Full of funny, poignant, uplifting and illuminating stories, it’s the perfect pick-me-up and forget-the-world during this time of social distancing. You can download the e-book or audio version right now and never have to deal with any human beings at all!
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