The House of Impossible Beauties

The House of Impossible Beauties

eBook - 2018
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NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2018 BY Buzzfeed The Wall Street Journal The Millions Southern Living Bustle Esquire Entertainment Weekly Nylon "Cassaras's propulsive and profound first novel, finding one's home in the world—particularly in a subculture plagued by fear and intolerance from society—comes with tragedy as well as extraordinary personal freedom." — Esquire A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and '90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning It's 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city's glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone. As mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus's life. The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them. All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences. Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit.
Publisher: [S.I.] : HarperCollins, 2018.
ISBN: 9780062677006
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Additional Contributors: Overdrive Inc

Opinion

From Library Staff

Inspired by the infamous documentary, "Paris is Burning," join Angel as she fights for her chosen family and builds the still-standing House of Xtravaganza.


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CaraMMcConnell
Jul 17, 2018

Felt more like Paris is Burning fan fiction than an expansive look into the NY ball scene. There's exactly one ball in the book, tons of dialogue and elements from PIB is forced into the narrative, and it comes off lazy and lacking in creativity. And, of course there's tons of darkness to the lives of underprivileged gay men of color during the 90s, but the ending to the story lines of the two fictional characters felt extremely gratuitous.

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bolan1972
Jun 08, 2018

A whole different gay life than the one I'm used to. Beautifully written and totally engrossing. I lived with the characters while I read this book. I loved it!

LPL_WilliamO Mar 19, 2018

Gorgeous. Gritty. Heartbreaking. Be prepared to be transported to 1980's New York City and fall in love with a group of glamorous, sassy gay and transgender club kids. Fierce wit, tragedy, and personal freedom - this book is EVERYTHING.

OPLJessG Dec 06, 2017

My heart was filled and broken between the covers of this book. Through Cassara's words, these characters fully became people, and from that, a family; they lived, and the world was richer for it. Reading this book is a dynamic experience not to be missed.

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