|Getting lost is the best way to learn about Finsbury Park ...
London was a very different place in the early 1980s. Ian Young regales us with colorful stories about Finsbury Park, a neighborhood and its fascinating habitués long gonegay skinheads, anarchist poets, and stoned stamp collectorsresisting the dark forces of a Thatcherite government.
In London Skin & Bones, a corner of the past comes alive, regenerates flesh and muscle, and throws on a coat (with a freshlyrolled joint tucked in its pocket) to wander a neighborhood populated by an unlikely, diverse tribe of friends who weave in and out of stories with familiarity so warm youll wonder if these tales came from your own memoryor your own dreams. Ian Young knows you can fall in love with a city with the same enthusiasm and eroticism you fall for a person, and deep in blue-collar London of the 1980s, with its eclectic shops and sporadic downpours, its veterans and refugees of other countries wars, its confident sexuality rising like a collective adolescence, an easy mingling occurs. Reading these stories, youre not a stranger in a strange land. Youre a traveler welcome to a cup of something warm or something strong, someones hand tapping lightly on your shoulder with an invitation to join the next spectacular adventure right around the corner. Bryan Borland, author of DIG and Less Unfortunate Pirates
Like Isherwoods I Am a Camera Berlin Stories, Youngs interlocking London stories of Lad Culture, told by a book-loving ex-pat photographer, are droll mugshots of boxers, shop boys, immigrant gangsters, stoned philatelists, and their older tor/mentors who survived the 1940s Blitz easier than 1980s Thatcherism. A marvelous book! Quoting Noel Coward, I couldnt have liked it more! Jack Fritscher, PhD, author of Mapplethorpe and Gay San Francisco
Ian Young gives us a wonderful sense of a particular time and place in 1980s London, but he does so much more than simply that. His fascinating cast of skinheads, scoundrels (charming ones at that), collectors, and eccentrics turns the cliché of the city as character on its head, reminding us of a neglected truth: that a city is its people, that the flow of beautiful, flawed and fascinating people is what gives a town, and a life, its texture and vitality. Even better, he shows us this in interwoven vignettes that are as unfailingly delightful as they are edifying. Peter Dubé, author of The Citys Gates and Beginning with the Mirror
In 1980, Ian Young came to live in an area of north London where we so-called Londoners never thought of setting foot. We made a big mistake! Resident there was a colony of more colorful figures than could ever be imaginedrefugees, skinheads and shopkeepers, decent, kindly, humorous, perhaps not always absolutely honest folk (Russell the landlord ran the Blind Guide Dogs charity racket), enduring a repressive Tory government but determined to live life to the full. Young is not the first London chronicler since Dickens to use the short-story format, but the time has come to put the earlier books up for a while and settle down with London Skin & Bones. All hail Ian Young, the Boz of Finsbury Park! Timothy dArch Smith, author of The Frankaus and The Books of the Beast
Great fun getting to know the colorful inhabitants of a seedy London neighborhood where gays and gay life are, refreshingly, part of the ordinary world. The book is marvelously observed and written, and proves that when gays are seen as real people, we dont need the usual melodrama of being gay. Edward Field, author of After the Fall: Poems Old and New
Skinheads, punks, boxers, and refugeesIan Youngs 1980s Finsbury Park is ground zero for the queerest of the queer. If fiction is about character, Ian Youngs stories are masterpieces, shedding light on gay life in a colorful working-class London neighborhood. Radically gay and radically political, Young is always a refreshing voice in gay letters. This is fresh fictionunlike anything youve read. Move over Armistead Maupins Tales of the City. Finsbury Park has arrived! Trebor Healey, author of A Horse Named Sorrow and Eros & Dust
About the Author: Ian Young is the author and editor of 28 books. He lives in Toronto, Canada.
140 pages. 5.5" x 8.5"