Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Books

Failure to Appear is a fierce lesbian memoir

This vivid, no holds barred page turner, Failure to Appear: Resistance, Identity and Loss, is a memoir about a lesbian of conscience who became a fugitive, on the run for over nineteen years using several identities. 

A gripping story about finding your true self and your sexual truth during the turbulent late sixties through the late eighties, against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the Nixon and Reagan years, the women’s and gay liberation movements, and the AIDS crisis.

Failure to Appear is a fierce coming of age story of a political activist, a young woman and of a generation. When it becomes as clear to the reader as it does to Emily Freeman that “In a mad country, it’s sane to be insane” the urgency of being a part of progressive change is a body slam that takes your breath away. That visceral response is even stronger when we understand that this truth is as crucial today as it was in our country’s past. This book takes its place alongside the searing and sensitive memoirs of other moral dissenters who’ve helped change the course our history.” –Jewelle Gomez, Author of The Gilda Stories

Emily’s story delves into family rejection based on sexuality, the price of ideals, lost love, the agony of an underground existence, and personal renewal.  As a university student, she became an activist for peace and social justice. 


One May night in 1969, Emily and seventeen others hauled somewhere around 40,000 records of draft-eligible men from the draft board office on the South Side of Chicago and burned them, as an act of non-violent civil disobedience against the Vietnam War and racism. The group waited at the scene, singing “We Shall Overcome”, and were arrested.

“This is a thoroughly detailed document of a lesbian in a closet within a closet. As compelling as a novel, it brings back the conflicts and clashes of the 1960s, the misunderstood compassion for our soldiers in Viet Nam, and the consequences of one woman’s principled and inspiring resistance. I was ever eager to return to her story each time I had to put it down.”  — Lee Lynch, Award Winning Author of The Swashbuckler, An American Queer, Rainbow Gap, and more

Emily L. Quint Freeman has appeared on CNN Evening News and NPR’s All Things Considered; interviewed by numerous progressive radio stations, such as KPFA; and covered/quoted in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, National Catholic Reporter, Associated Press, InfoWeek, Wired, and The John Liner Review, among others. 

When she isn’t writing, you might find Emily planting veggie seeds in her garden or at her piano playing Scriabin.

The book will be released on March 1, 2020 at the start of Women’s History Month. To find out more about Failure to Appear, and to purchase a copy click here.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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