Nothing Ever Just Disappears: Seven Hidden Histories

Hester, Diarmuid


2 in stock

2 in stock

How do places make us, and how do we make them?

At the turn of the century, in the shade of Cambridge’s cloisters, a young E. M. Forster conceals his passion for other men, even as he daydreams about the sun-warmed bodies of ancient Greece. Under the dazzling lights of interwar Paris, Josephine Baker dances her way to fame and fortune and discovers sexual freedom backstage at the Folies Berg re. And on Jersey, in the darkest days of Nazi occupation, the transgressive surrealist Claude Cahun mounts an extraordinary resistance to save the island she loves, scattering hundreds of dissident artworks along its streets and shorelines.

Nothing Ever Just Disappears brings to life the stories of seven remarkable figures and illuminates the connections between where they lived, who they loved, and the art they created. It shows that a queer sense of place is central to the history of the twentieth century and powerfully evokes how much is lost when queer spaces are forgotten. From the lesbian London of the suffragettes to James Baldwin’s home in Provence, to Jack Smith’s New York, Kevin Killian’s San Francisco and the Dungeness cottage of Derek Jarman, this is a thrilling new history and a celebration of freedom, survival and the hidden places of the imagination.

Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
Imprint: Allen Lane
Publication date: 31/08/2023

Staff review

Nothing Ever Just Disappears
by Diarmuid Hester
Review by Ray

Beautifully written, thoroughly researched, this exploration of seven queer lives in the 20th century through the places and spaces they occupied and the art they made is a real treat. Through these stories, I felt a renewed sense of community and deep history – a welcome antidote to the narrative that queer identities are an anomaly or a new fad. A gorgeous and eye-opening read, and a great introduction to a big, diverse world of queer art from decades past – you’ll come away with a huge list of people and work to delve into next.

ISBN: 9780241528457 Category: