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P.S. Burn This Letter Please

On sale

15th August 2023

Price: £20

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780751585940

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With an introduction from RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Sasha Velour

Their greatest act of resistance was simply existing

In 1950s New York, a group of drag pioneers found work in a small number of Lower East Side clubs. They occupied the margins of society, determined to live authentically, despite the attentions of the police. These girls were unstoppable, fearless and fabulous, but their very existence was deemed a criminal threat to society.

When a secret cache of their letters was discovered in 2014, these individuals were given a voice for the first time. The letters reveal personal triumphs and tragedies, and a fascinating world that has rarely been documented.

Expertly weaving social, political and cultural history, Craig Olsen illuminates the lives and loves of our exceptional LGBTQ+ forebears.

P.S. Burn This Letter Please is the ground-breaking result: a deeply moving encounter with a generation of survivors, and a necessary account of how modern drag culture was born.

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Reviews

LA Blade
The letters make you want to laugh one minute, cry the next, and then take to the streets and protest because in 2023, history is repeating itself . . . A fascinating book . . . P.S. Burn This Letter Please is a must read about fabulous fashion trailblazers, who dared to defy, who HAD to defy, despite the consequences
Guardian
There are vital, vibrant stories crying out to be told from the history of the drag scene, especially now that it faces a resurgence of bigotry and hostility
Buzz Magazine
Written in a distinctive coded language, the letters in P.S Burn This Letter Please are gossipy in tone and full of catty humour but also coloured by the constant fear of exposure, violence or arrest
Attitude
P.S. Burn This Letter Please reveals a fascinating world of personal triumph and tragedy
Starred review, Publishers Weekly
A delightful collection of newly discovered letters between a fabulous coterie of drag queens who resided in New York City during the 1950s and '60s . . . This charming account combines the poignancy of a coming-of-age narrative, the mordant humor of a gossip column, and the rigor of an archival investigation. It's an essential window into a long-hidden history