Visual AIDS presents: Fairyland Book Club

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Visual AIDS presents: Fairyland Book Club
October 29, 2013 6:30 PM
October 29, 2013 8:30 PM
646 457 0859
September 28, 2013
Bureau of General Services–Queer Division at Cage
646 457 0859
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83A Hester St., New York, NY, 10002, United States

In her book Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, Alysia Abbott writes about growing up in San Francisco in the 70s and 80s with her father, the writer Steve Abbott. She explores what it was like having a gay dad and the experience of losing him to AIDS just as she was coming into adulthood.

Join Visual AIDS as we discuss the book and talk about the issues the memoir brings up.

RSVP with Ted at to receive the discussion guide.

Fairyland cover

After his wife dies in a car accident in 1973, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city bustling with gay men in search of liberation—few of whom are raising a child.

Steve throws himself into San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. But the pair live like nomads, moving from apartment to apartment, with a revolving cast of roommates and little structure. As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference.

In her teens, Steve’s friends—several of whom she befriended—fall ill as “the gay plague” starts its rampage through their community. While Alysia is studying in New York and then France, her father comes to tell her it’s time to come home; He’s sick with AIDS. She must choose, as her father once did, whether to take on the responsibility of caring for him or to continue the independent life she worked so hard to create.

 Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father is available at the Bureau.

Read an interview between Alysia Abbott and Ted Kerr, programs manager at Visual AIDS: