Book Review: Peering Through: Sharing Decades of Queer Experiences, edited by Alex Dunkin & Greg Fell • Glam Adelaide

Book Review: Peering Through: Sharing Decades of Queer Experiences, edited by Alex Dunkin & Greg Fell

AUTOBIOGRAPHIES: An anthology of unique tales from queer elders, set amongst a backdrop of criminalisation, religious interventions and social acceptance.

An intriguing anthology of lived, queer experiences through the ages to the present day.

Peering Through is a fascinating anthology of queer stories through the ages, broken down into each decade and across each of its narrators. Intriguing, honest and heartbreaking at times, it is a personal look at the everyday queer community, as told by those who lived it.

There is always something intrinsically interesting about the history of ordinary people, as opposed to those who are well-known. The little, everyday things that connect people across the ages becomes so much more meaningful when viewed through the eyes of someone who could have been just like you, but born to an earlier era – it is these things that Peering Through encapsulates so beautifully.

The point of view of the anthology is first person, expressed in the voice of the person experiencing the moment or era, which makes the novel very personal. The choice to keep the idiosyncrasies of each voice makes each story easier to follow, as does the handy little guide at the front giving the page number for each narrator to the audience – a thoughtful touch to those wanting to read the novel by following the experiences of each narrator as opposed to looking through a variety of lenses on each decade.

Another excellent touch is the intro to each era – a historical context for each decade that adds a layer of understanding to each experience as it is read. The highs and the lows are shared across each narration, across the decades, which in turn, leads the audience down a path of greater understanding.

For lovers of biographical and autobiographical work, Australian history and the queer experience, Peering Through is an emotional read all the way to the end. Edited and printed locally, it is well worth the read and I thoroughly enjoyed it to the end.

Reviewed by Zoe Butler
Twitter: @Zoe_Rambles

Distributed by: Buon-Cattivi Press
Released: November 2018
RRP: $29.95

Disclaimer: Alex Dunkin is an Arts contributor to Glam Adelaide.

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