1)This was a non-fiction work that documented the history, rise and influence of Cornyation Fiesta, an event that takes place in San Antonio. The book highlights the great aspects of the show: that is part satire, part vaudeville, part drag show, and lots of entertainment, woven with history. It has struggled to become accepted and by becoming involved in the AIDS crisis, has developed into a great organization.
2) I loved this book, and it has obviously already been through professional editing and design. This is a wonderful success story for an entire GLBTQ community in a conservative area of Texas. I debated for a time if it had too much of a local interest to have a wide appeal, but I don't think so. For one thing, lessons learned in San Antonio can apply elsewhere. It was just fun to read about how humor and satire transitioned an entire GLBTQ community to general acceptance in the wider city. The length of time covered by the history of this satirical festival could not help but cause the occasional overload, but Amy did a good job of keeping the story on-track and relevant. Outstanding job of showing the social, political, and cultural environment of San Antonia and how it affected Cornynation and vice versa. The people behind the pageant came alive for me. The greatest complication was the vast number involved over the decades. At times, that came a tad difficult to track. Excellent! She managed to keep the historic facts accurate while maintaining an entertaining read.
Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition
LGBT - Non Fiction
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Maverick Books (April 11, 2017)
Amazon: Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition
Fiesta San Antonio began in 1891 began as a parade in honor of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto and has evolved into an annual Mardi Gras-like festival attended by four million with more than 100 cultural events raising money for nonprofit organizations in San Antonio, Texas.
At Fiesta's start, the events were socially exclusive, one of the most prominent being the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo, a lavish, debutante pageant crowning a queen of the festival. Cornyation was created in 1951 by members of San Antonio's theater community as a satire, mocking the elite with their own flamboyant duchesses, empresses, and queens, accompanied by men in drag and local political figures in outrageous costume. The stage show quickly transformed into a controversial parody of local and national politics and culture.
Told through more than one hundred photographs and dozens of interviews, Cornyation is the first history of this major Fiesta San Antonio event, tracing how it has become one of Texas's iconic and longest-running celebrations, and one of the Southwest's first large-scale fundraisers for HIV-AIDS research, raising more than two million dollars since 1990.
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