The House of Impossible Beauties

The House of Impossible Beauties

Book - 2018
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"Follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the '80s and '90s"--
Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062676979
Branch Call Number: FIC CASSARA 2018
Characteristics: 400 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Inspired by the cult queer documentary “Paris is Burning” and the infamous House of Xtravaganza, this debut highlights the struggles and joys of Black and brown queer and trans lives in the scene.

A first-time novelist visits queer Harlem in the 1980s.

A first novel, inspired by the House of Xtravaganza made famous in the documentary, Paris Is Burning, follows a cast of gay and transgender kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and 1990s.

Finalist, Gay Fiction.

From the critics

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Feb 10, 2020

Cassara’s visceral debut novel (whose book cover required quite a journey), is set in Harlem’s underground ballroom scene of the 1980s, and tells a fictionalized version of the origins of the all-Latinx House of Extravaganza, in which there is beauty, excitement, belonging—and lots of tragedy.

Feb 12, 2019

This is a book that can enlighten and change our perspective much like Dallas Buyers Club did for me.

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.

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.

JCLJessG 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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