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Book Cover for: Army of Lovers: A Community History of Will Munro, Sarah Liss

Army of Lovers: A Community History of Will Munro

Sarah Liss

"Will was pretty much the perfect role model." -- Beth Ditto, The Gossip

In the spring of 2010, Toronto lost one of its most important queer civic heroes when local artist, DJ, activist, impresario, promoter, party-thrower, café operator, community-builder and lover Will Munro died of brain cancer at the unfathomably young age of 35. Famed for his subversive, irreverent visual art, which co-opted rock 'n' roll imagery and raunchy gay iconography, and his legendary Vazaleen dance parties, which singlehandedly reinvented Toronto's queer nightlife culture, Will did more to revolutionize both his community and his city in a decade than most folks do in a lifetime.

Weaving together a collage of stories from and about the people who knew and loved him, Army of Lovers is both a biography of Will Munro and a document of a galvanizing period in the history of Toronto, a moment when the city's various subcultures - the queer community, the art scene, the independent music universe, the grassroots activist enclaves - came of age and collided with one another.

Selected by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) for the 2014 Over the Rainbow Project book list

Book Details

  • Publisher: Coach House Books
  • Publish Date: Oct 8th, 2013
  • Pages: 160
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 7.40in - 4.70in - 0.50in - 0.35lb
  • EAN: 9781552452776
  • Categories: Artists, Architects, PhotographersLGBTQ+ Studies - Gay StudiesIndividual Artists - Essays

About the Author

Liss, Sarah: -

Sarah Liss is The Grid 's music columnist and culture editor. Her writing has appeared in a number of places, including Toronto Life, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and Flare, and onstage at Nightwood Theatre. Her piece 'A Force of Will, ' a love letter to deceased Toronto artist Will Munro published in The Grid, was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2013.

Praise for this book
"With her characteristic insight, elegance, wit and generosity, Sarah Liss gives us the first, important account of Will Munro - one of the most important queer artists, activists, promoters and community builders Toronto has ever seen. His impact, memory and influence loom large, and Liss is one of the few people I'd trust to tell his story the way it should be told." - Michael Cobb, Professor of English and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto and author of Single: Arguments of the Uncoupled

"Will was pretty much the perfect role model. He was such a one-of-a-kind person. He really understood that throwing parties and shows is a part of creating community and that it can be dirty and crazy and chaotic, but also inclusive and positive and creative rather than destructive." - Beth Ditto, The Gossip

"Even in his passing, [Will] is still transforming things." - Luis Jacob, artist (Toronto Star)

"Munro's work is about nothing so much as life and inspiration, in their purest forms." - David Balzer, Canadian Art

'Army of Lovers is so fascinating it's already earned a place on the mandatory reading lists of high school and university queer-studies courses, in my opinion. Its pages should be torn out of the book and wheatpasted on every weirdo kid's locker in every high school in every suburban hellhole.'
-- Keith Cole, Xtra!

'Through her reconstruction of the past, Liss proves she is a gifted storyteller deeply moved by her subject matter, approaching [Munro's] legacy like a meticulous curator.'
-- Stacey May Fowles, The National Post

'. . . The most productive force of Army lies not only in conveying the community history of a queer, whimsical, superstar community builder, but in its very documentation through collective memory. Army gives us a different history of queer life in Toronto that must be remembered in order move forward.'
-- Lambda Literary Review of Books