Book Description

Review 'Funny, engaging, enlightening, heartbreaking: a history of the heart that will touch everyone who reads it.'?Anita Diamant, author of The Red Tent 'Amy Hoffman has written a fabulous memoir of post-Stonewall lesbian and gay liberation. The book captures the radical political spirit of the 1970s, conjuring up a world of men, women, and differently gender-configured activists who sought to foment a revolution to end capitalism, racism, homophobia, and sexism all the while putting out a weekly newspaper. . . . This is memoir at its best.'?Janice Irvine, author of Disorders of Desire 'Part social history, part personal memoir, and part off-beat love story. Amy Hoffman writes with so much charm and wit that this portrait of a group of political radicals trying to change the world becomes an endearing and completely accessible tribute to the power of community and the importance of convictions. There is something to love, admire, and laugh about on every page of this book. I hated to see it end.'?Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection 'An Army of Ex-Lovers is Amy Hoffman's witty, nuanced, personal history of Gay Community News, Boston's gay weekly newspaper in the 1970s and '80s. I expected as much from this fine writer. What is delightfully unexpected is that it is also the love story between a gay man and a lesbian. Political, cranky, fully committed, loyal, and loud. It's big love. It's the untold story of those early years of gay liberation.'?Kate Clinton, author of Don't Get Me Started 'The Boston-based Gay Community News was always a shoe-string operation with outsize ambitions. Founded in 1973?before AIDS and gay weddings?GCN was run by activists who were as interested in making news as they were in covering it. In An Army of Ex-Lovers: My Life at the Gay Community News, former GCN editor Amy Hoffman, now editor of the Women's Review of Books, recalls with wit the heady debates that roiled the staff. Although GCN never had a circulation of more than 5,000, it was a vital connection for readers coming out of the closet. In addition, the paper was a training ground for lesbian and gay leaders who, Hoffman writes, 'went on to run practically every gay organization in the country.''?The Boston Sunday Globe'When 26-year-old Hoffman joined Boston's Gay Community News in 1978, the weekly newspaper had been a radical gay and lesbian forum for five years but was still the only business listed under 'gay' in the Boston telephone book. Undeterred by the staffers' infighting and lack of journalism experience, the gay bashings and murders of several colleagues, the paper's circulation of only about 5,000 copies, and the chronic shortage of funds because GCN's politics scared most potential advertisers, she worked at the paper for nearly four years. . . . Discovering, losing, and then finding love again kept Hoffman at GCN, along with the excitement of creating a common agenda for social change with legions of dykes and faggots, many of whom went on to lead LGBT, AIDS service, and social justice organizations across the country. . . . Hoffman ranges about freely?portraits of the GCN staff, the fire that destroyed the GCN office shortly after she left the paper. . .overall her people are potent enough to make her ramblings worth following. . . . Luckily for the reader it was someone as funny, thoughtful, and forgiving as Hoffman who took the time to look back and recapture so many emblematic moments'?The Advocate'Amy Hoffman has written a highly readable memoir . . . written with a gentleness and dry wit. . . . An Army of Ex-Lovers makes an important contribution to our understanding of gay Boston as well as the history of gay journalism.'?The Gay & Lesbian Review'[Hoffman] skillfully interweaves her coming-of-age memoir and a riveting chronicle of a tumultuous political movement's coming-of-age, characterized by dissent within the community and beyond. . . . It's influence remains, and Hoffman's account, full of photos, posters, and headlines of its time, only bolsters its historic importance'?Women's Review of Books'Amy Hoffman's autobiographical history of her years at Boston's 'Gay Community News' is one of the most engaging works of nonfiction recently published. . . . I found myself frequently laughing out loud at some of Hoffman's stories, recalling my own years of deadlines and headlines, and many fond memories of departed colleagues. But no personal experience is necessary to appreciate An Army of Ex-Lovers; an interest in lesbian and gay history and an appreciation of good writing will suffice.'?Robert Julian, Bay Area Reporter'Hoffman has a special ironic style, which had me laughing out loud, that she employs in talking about the seemingly minute but then giant battles that went on in the GCN and the feminist and Left community. . . . Hoffman might be nostalgic about the period, but she is not uncritical. . . . (She) is refreshingly honest about the problems involved in making alternative ways of living.'?, Feminist Studies'Ceasing weekly publication in 1992, GCN [Gay Community News] continued quarterly, then on the Web before expiring in 1999. Its influence remains, and Hoffman's account, full of photos, posters, and headlines of its time, only bolsters its historic importance.'?Booklist Read more About the Author An editor of Gay Community News from 1978 to 1982, Amy Hoffman is the author of Hospital Time, a memoir about taking care of friends with AIDS. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts and is currently the editor of Women's Review of Books. Read more

Comments