Thursday, April 7, 2011

When We Were Outlaws: A memoir of love & revolution

My new memoir found a publisher—Spinsters Ink, an old established feminist house.
Outlaws is coming out to bookstores (and, on or about October 18th.
You can now pre-order your copy from Amazon, click here (or from your favorite independent bookstore) and see my author page too.

So we’ve set the date for a big, splashy, and unusual launch EVENT on Sunday, Nov. 6th. Since the book is about my life in the free-love, free-sex era of the early ‘70s—perhaps we’ll find some free pot—just lying around—on Sunday, Nov 6. Do we dare? Come, see, light up! Mark your calendars.

And yes, the backstory—Outlaws was delayed because I was among the “Alyson 24”—the authors whose new books were under contract to be published by Alyson Books last year. If you read the gay literati tabloids then you might know that Regent /Here Media, the owner of Alyson, is being sued by Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch. So, like the other Alyson authors, including Michael Musto, I had to go and find another publisher.
Gratefully, Outlaws has a new home under the watchful editing eyes of Katherine Forrest, editor in chief at Spinsters. She and I will work out the final, final, finally revised draft this summer. And the cover is right now being designed by Alice Hom, that brilliant designer of the GenderPlay in Lesbian Culture art exhibition that many of you saw.

The first 50 folks who buy Outlaws will get your book autographed with a personal message (send me your book), or a personalized, dated and signed Outlaws postcard saying muchisimas gracias for your support! (Email me for details & instructions)

During most of 2010 my LEX gang of lesbian guerilla activists and I were organizing the huge Butch Voices LA Regional Conference (see story below).
I was also busy writing an essay, The New Politics of Butch,” for a new anthology about butch and femme culture that is now available. Look for Persistence: All Ways Butch & Femme (edited by Ivan Coyote & Zena Sharman) at your bookstore or on Amazon. I’m told the book features great writers and the latest politics about the thorny subject of gender-identity in all its nuances.
On the more personal front I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my collar bone and some ribs, which kept me very inactive for three months! But spring has sprung in sunny California, and I’m looking forward to planning more LEX events for the lesbiqueer community this fall!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Outlaws: The Memoir!

A sweeping memoir, a raw and intimate chronicle of a young activist torn between conflicting personal longings and political goals. When We Were Outlaws offers a rare view of the life of a radical lesbian during the early cultural struggle for gay rights, Women’s Liberation, and the New Left of the 1970s.

Brash and ambitious, activist Jeanne Córdova is living with one woman and falling in love with another, but her passionate beliefs tell her that her first duty is “to the revolution” –to change the world and end discrimination against gays and lesbians. Trying to compartmentalize her sexual life, she becomes an investigative reporter for the famous, underground L.A. Free Press and finds herself involved with covering the Weather Underground, Angela Davis; exposing neo-Nazi bomber Captain Joe Tomassi, and befriending Emily Harris of the Symbionese Liberation Army.

At the same time she is creating what will be the center of her revolutionary lesbian world: her own newsmagazine, The Lesbian Tide, destined to become the voice of the national lesbian feminist movement. By turns provocative and daringly honest, Cordova renders emblematic scenes of the era—ranging from strike protests to utopian music festivals, to underground meetings with radical fugitives—with period detail and evocative characters. For those who came of age in the ‘70s, and for those who weren’t around but still ask ‘What was it like?’ – Outlaws takes you back to re-live it. It also offers insights about ethics, decision making and strategy, still relevant today.

With an introduction by renowned lesbian historian Lillian Faderman, When We Were Outlaws paints a vivid portrait of activism and the search for self-identity, set against the turbulent landscape of multiple struggles for social change that swept hundreds of thousands of Americans into the streets.