The House of Impossible Beauties

The House of Impossible Beauties

Book - 2018 | First edition
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A gritty debut novel that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 80s and 90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary "Paris is Burning."
Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062676979
0062676970
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 400 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Joseph Cassara's follows the triumphs and tragedies of four gay and transgender youth as they navigate the famed Harlem ball scene of 80s New York. Mixing real-life scene figures with sensitively drawn characters, Cassara loose historical fiction depicts a community that was shunned by intoleranc... Read More »

A stellar debut novel that is not to be missed, Joseph Cassara's follows the triumphs and tragedies of four gay and transgender youth as they navigate the famed Harlem ball scene of 80s New York. Mixing real-life scene figures with sensitively drawn characters, Cassara loose historical fiction d... Read More »

The House of Xtravaganza emerged from New York's underground ball scene as one of the dominating cultural forces of the 80’s and 90’s. Joseph Cassara takes inspiration from that time period and its rival houses in order to create a narrative of four gay and transgender youth navigating the ball s... Read More »


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p
petunia4
Feb 12, 2019

This is a book that can enlighten and change our perspective much like Dallas Buyers Club did for me.

c
CaraMMcConnell
Jul 17, 2018

Felt more like Paris is Burning fan fiction than an expansive look into the NY ball scene. There's exactly one ball in the book, tons of dialogue and elements from PIB is forced into the narrative, and it comes off lazy and lacking in creativity. And, of course there's tons of darkness to the lives of underprivileged gay men of color during the 90s, but the ending to the story lines of the two fictional characters felt extremely gratuitous.

b
bolan1972
Jun 08, 2018

A whole different gay life than the one I'm used to. Beautifully written and totally engrossing. I lived with the characters while I read this book. I loved it!

LPL_WilliamO Mar 19, 2018

Gorgeous. Gritty. Heartbreaking. Be prepared to be transported to 1980's New York City and fall in love with a group of glamorous, sassy gay and transgender club kids. Fierce wit, tragedy, and personal freedom - this book is EVERYTHING.

JCLJessG Dec 06, 2017

My heart was filled and broken between the covers of this book. Through Cassara's words, these characters fully became people, and from that, a family; they lived, and the world was richer for it. Reading this book is a dynamic experience not to be missed.

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