1. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (May 13, 2014)
Amazon : Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East
Amazon Kindle: Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East
Gaysia is skillfully written, has quite a bit of humor along the way, and gives the reader a glimpse into what it means to be gay in China, Japan, Malaysia, and other Asian countries. (Some chapters are more interesting than others, but I’d give the writer high marks for tackling a difficult subject in a unique way.) Enjoyable read if a bit repetitious.
Read it. Admire it. Would give it full marks. I very much appreciate Mr. Law is NOT a predator but a serious, sensitive journalist. I say BRAVO!
For anyone interested in the Asian LGBT culture this books is a must. I've read some people refer to it as a travelog and funny. Well, in a way, yes, it's a good travelog but to me, been that I've never been interested to visit that part of the country, it's more of an informational book, something that should be learned in school. The stories held within its pages are at times funny, or at least it makes you laugh a couple of times, but the rest? The rest, in my opinion is simply somber.
I would award more points if I could. To be honest, this book vastly outshines all the other finalists in this category. More a combination travelogue / cultural study than memoir, this enlightening work should be read by every GLBT rights advocate in the world. I applaud the author for undertaking such an ambitious (and often unpleasant) project and for presenting his findings with sensitivity and casual grace. Gaysia doesn’t read like a dry academic paper.
An interesting and clear-eyed look at a variety of cultures, that certainly helps me appreciate how very far my own culture has come.
I was really blown away by this book. Having lived and traveled around Asia for five years, many of Benjamin Law’s observations hit home for me. Not being a gay man, I was treated to seeing the same things from an entirely different perspective. Sex is a huge aspect of Asia, and Ben explores that with in-depth discussions with sex workers, tourists, locals, and then provides an accurate and colorful picture of what it’s like to be gay in Asia, and how it varies widely from country to country.
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