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Reading & Conversation: Elyssa Maxx Goodman — “Glitter and Concrete” (w/ Scott Sandage)

February 7 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

From journalist and drag historian Elyssa Maxx Goodman, an intimate, evocative history of drag in New York City exploring its dynamic role, from the Jazz Age to Drag Race, in queer liberation and urban life

From the lush feather boas that adorned early female impersonators to the sequined lip syncs of barroom queens to the drag kings that have us laughing in stitches, drag has played a vital role in the creative life of New York City. But the evolution of drag in the city—as an art form, a community and a mode of liberation—has never before been fully chronicled.

Now, for the first time, Elyssa Goodman unearths the dramatic, provocative untold story of drag in New York City in all its glistening glory. Glitter and Concrete ducks beneath the velvet ropes of Harlem Renaissance balls, examines drag’s crucial role in the Stonewall Uprising, traces drag’s influence on disco and punk rock as well as its unifying power during the AIDS crisis and 9/11, and culminates with the modern-day drag queen in the era of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Including original interviews with high-profile performers, as well as glamorous color photos from exclusive sources and the author herself, Glitter and Concrete is a significant contribution to queer history and an essential read for anyone curious about the story that echoes beneath the heels.

“Deeply researched and featuring a cast of characters who can truly be described as fabulous, Glitter and Concrete is urban history on fire.” —Thomas Dyja, author of New York, New York, New York

*The Millions Most Anticipated List of 2023*
*A Vogue Best LGBTQ+ Book of 2023*

ELYSSA MAXX GOODMAN is a New York-based writer and photographer specializing in non-fiction writing and documentary photography. Her first book, Glitter and Concrete: A Cultural History of Drag in New York City, is out now from Hanover Square Press. Elyssa’s writing and photography have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Elle, and many others. Elyssa has also written about LGBTQ+ history and culture for Conde Nast’s them, where she was the site’s “Drag Herstory” and Queer Women’s History columnist. She has been a freelance writer for 19 years and in love with drag for 28 years, since the age of seven.

SCOTT A. SANDAGE, a cultural and public historian at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a consultant to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, the National Park Service, the Andy Warhol Museum, and television and radio documentaries. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and Slate, among other venues, and he is the author of Born Losers: A History of Failure in America (Harvard, 2005).


This event will be in-person at White Whale Bookstore. Masks are required. If you are not able to make it to the store, we will also be livestreaming the event via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMldOmurjMjHtQEwCVYET5p2xpM5FpRAhhE#/registration

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February 7
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


White Whale Books & Coffee
4754 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh,PA15224United States
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(412) 224-2847
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White Whale Bookstore
(412) 224-2847
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