When Kelly Cogswell
plunged into New York's East Village in 1992, she
had just come out.
An ex-Southern Baptist born in Kentucky, she
was camping in an Avenue B loft, scribbling poems, and playing in an underground band, trying to figure out her
A couple of months later she
was consumed by the Lesbian Avengers, instigating direct action campaigns, battling cops on Fifth Avenue, mobilizing 20,000 dykes for a march on Washington, D.C., and eating fire-literally-in front of the White House.
At once streetwise and wistful, Eating Fire is a witty and urgent coming-of-age memoir spanning two decades, from the Culture War of the early 1990s to the War on Terror.
Cogswell's story is an engaging blend of picaresque adventure, how-to activist handbook, and rigorous inquiry into questions of identity, resistance, and citizenship.
It is also a compelling, personal recollection of friendships and fallings-out and of finding true love-several times over.
After the Lesbian Avengers imploded, Cogswell describes how she became a pioneering citizen journalist, cofounding the Gully online magazine with the groundbreaking goal of offering "queer views on everything."
The first in-depth account of the influential Lesbian Avengers, Eating Fire reveals the group's relationship to the queer art and activist scene in early '90s New York and establishes the media-savvy Avengers as an important precursor to groups such as Occupy Wall Street
and La Barbe
, in France.
A rare insider's look at the process and perils of street activism, Kelly Cogswell's
memoir is an uncompromising and ultimately empowering story of creative resistance against hatred and injustice. (Minnesota)