The University of Wisconsin Press
Biography / Gay Studies
Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest
Collected and edited by Will Fellows
With a new Afterword
"These coming-of-age stories from men ranging from 24 to 84 smash the stereotype that gay culture is exclusively an urban culture."Chicago Tribune
Homosexuality is often seen as a purely urban experience, far removed from rural and small-town life. Farm Boys undermines that cliché by telling the stories of more than three dozen gay men, ranging in age from 24 to 84, who grew up in farm families in the midwestern United States. Whether painful, funny, or matter-of-fact, these plain-spoken accounts will move and educate any reader, gay or not, from farm or city.
"Fellows's project is a true achievement, one to take its rightful place in future studies of gay American history."The Advocate
"It is impossible to convey the richness of this book." Lambda Book Report
"The book contains scrapbook snapshots treasured by their families for decadesas tender and as innocent as the memories they evoke."Omaha World-Herald
"Often powerful and poignant, conveying the sadness of isolation and the strength of self-reliance."Library Journal
"Insightful, sometimes humorous, sometimes ordinary, but always fascinating." Library Choice
Best books of 1996: Esquire Magazine, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Bestsellers of 1996: The Advocate, Lambda Book Report
Will Fellows grew up on a Wisconsin farm and works as an educator and writer. In the course of his research for this book, he interviewed 75 gay men from farm backgrounds. He lives with his partner near Milwaukee. This was his first book. Fellows has a new book, A Passion to Preserve, published with the UW Press in 2004.
Farm Boys, a play by Dean Gray and Amy Fox, was adapted from the book. It premiered in New York in 2004. The Great American History Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota staged Farm Boys in 2006.
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346 pp. 6 x 9
32 b/w photos, 8 pencil drawings
Paper $19.95 t
e-book $14.95 t
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Updated August 9, 2010© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System