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Author Talk: “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire”

June 23, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Award-winning author and journalist Robert W. Fieseler will read from “Tinderbox” and discuss the Up Stairs Lounge fire and its Illinois impact. Register at http://tinderbox.eventbrite.com to receive the Zoom link.

An essential work of American civil rights history and winner of the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University, Fieseler’s “Tinderbox” mesmerizingly reconstructs the 1973 fire that devastated New Orleans’ subterranean gay community.

Buried for decades, the Up Stairs Lounge tragedy has only recently emerged as a catalyzing event of the queer liberation movement. In recognition of Pride, we are highlighting the strong Illinois connection to this vital piece of American history, and Fieseler’s reading will explore this newly uncovered link. Chicagoland, in fact, lost one of its own that June 24, 1973, in the Big Easy.

Fieseler is a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association “Journalist of the Year” and the acclaimed debut author of “Tinderbox,” winner of the Edgar Award and the Louisiana Literary Award and shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Queer literary icon Andrew Holleran reviewed “Tinderbox” as “far more than just a history of gay rights,” and Michael Cunningham praised it as “essential reading at any time.” Fieseler is presently working on his second queer history book, which was a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. He graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia Journalism School and lives with his husband and two kittens in New Orleans. For more information, see www.rwfieseler.com.

Please read:
This is a virtual author event hosted by the Galena Public Library. When registering you will receive the Zoom link via email. Reminder emails are sent out leading up to the event. Please contact distlerl@galenalibrary.org for more information.


June 23, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Galena Public Library
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Galena Public Library
601 S. Bench St
Galena, 61036
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