“This set of nine interconnected essays defies categorization in its exploration not only of queerness and disability but also of class, race, urban-rural divides, gender identity, sexual abuse, environmental destruction and the meaning of home. Place--and displacement--...Clare goes into detail about the realities of life in a small logging town, about the economics of clear-cutting forests and over-fishing salmon, about the destructive ideology of infinitely renewable resources that was taught to her as a child, the equally untenable romanticism of urban environmental activists, and the gains and losses that come with finding refuge in urban queer communities. These are not digressions. They are, as Clare puts it, ‘the connective tissue that brings the words queer, class, and exile together.’"-- Rachel Rosenbloom, The Women's Review of Books
First published in 1999, the groundbreaking Exile and Pride is essential to the history and future of disability politics. Eli Clare's revelatory writing about his experiences as a white disabled genderqueer activist/writer established him as one of the leading writers on the intersections of queerness and disability and permanently changed the landscape of disability politics and queer liberation. With a poet's devotion to truth and an activist's demand for justice, Clare deftly unspools the multiple histories from which our ever-evolving sense of self unfolds. His essays weave together memoir, history, and political thinking to explore meanings and experiences of home: home as place, community, bodies, identity, and activism. Here readers will find an intersectional framework for understanding how we actually live with the daily hydraulics of oppression, power, and resistance. At the root of Clare's exploration of environmental destruction and capitalism, sexuality and institutional violence, gender and the body politic, is a call for social justice movements that are truly accessible to everyone. With heart and hammer, Exile and Pride pries open a window onto a world where our whole selves, in all their complexity, can be realized, loved, and embraced.
Here are the questions discussed Wednesday, January 29, 2020.
• Did the combination of memoir and essay writing work? Yes, how? No, why?
• Is the writing poetic?
• What did you think about the use of footnotes?
• What did you think of the author's sources?
• Is this book of its time or do the ideas still resonate today?
• Did you believe the assertions?
• Which part of the book most resonated for you?
• What did you think about the way the book was presented in 3 parts?
• Icebreaker: Describe a physical characteristic that you loved from a landscape you have been exiled from.