Sid Prise has written two historical novels, available from Chipmunka Publishing.
It Will Not Last the Night is the story of the countercultures of Weimar Germany–political, sexual, and artistic–centering round four protagonists, including the couple kissing here above the Reichstag demonstration. It reveals things that have been all but lost–cultures of rebellion crushed and burned by the Nazis, and further buried in the rubble of World War II and the long Cold War that followed.
Did you know that in the ’20s in Berlin, there were no less than 35 different queer magazines–each featuring a unique queer community, many of them with no modern equivalents in the comparatively staid world of gender and sexual preference we have today? Did you know it was common in 1920s Berlin for people to embrace a “third gender,” to believe they’d been reincarnated from previous lives, spiritually traveling in each of the standard pair of genders, in order to fulfill a karmic calling to find true love? Have you heard about the “hippie communes” of Ascona, Switzerland, dating from before 1900–attracting vegetarians, transcendentalists, freethinkers, free-lovers, and anarchists of all sorts? Were you aware that there were thinkers and activists who opposed Communism as well as Fascism–seeing them as nothing more than mirror images of each other–and fought all governments, “right,” “left,” and “center”–as alike enemies to human freedom? Did you know sex-workers organized in the German city of Hamburg enough to have their own newspaper in the ’20s? Have you ever heard of the “Edelweiss Pirates”–teenaged German gang-bangers who beat up the Hitler Youth and harassed the Nazis with graffiti and even assassination attempts, fighting for freedom until well after Hitler and the Third Reich was dead? Do you know how many good German people rebelled against Hitler–and carried on the fight against him when all hope seemed lost?
It Will Not Last the Night reveals all this. Painstakingly researched over four years of writing–sometimes whole nights of research going into one or two sentences–Sid Prise has saved the reader the trouble of reading dozens of books–many of them primary sources–to give you an intimacy with the times of Weimar Berlin and Revolutionary Europe of the 1920s and 1930s that few who are alive are able to get. There is love in this book–love for the time, for the potential of the movements for freedom that were all but destroyed by the Nazis and the Communists and Allies after, and love for our queer ancestors, whom Sid envisions as coming through the abyss of lost history, to be our friends.
Check for It Will Not Last the Night at http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/?page_id=314
Enter “I” into the title search engine, and find the paperback on the third page, second entry from the bottom. Also available as an E-Book.
The Wobbly is a book set in the time of World War I, in Australia, Mexico, Canada, and the United States–and continues till sometime on the rails in the middle of the 1920s. It is the story of Wallabee, a white Australian child left on the doorstep of an Aboriginal family in the Arnhem Land around 1900. Like many children cared for by Aboriginal Australians, he was stolen during a raid on the Indigenous camp by agents of the white government. His black brothers and sisters were sent away to work-schools; but he was forced to live with a conservative white family in Darwin. While living with them, taking their abuse, he falls in love with their natural daughter–Mary Delilah. When her father sends Delilah away to a convent in Sydney, Wallabee vows to find her.
He treks across the Continent–through forests and deserts, over mountains and across mighty rivers–only to find Delilah has left Australia–and gone across the ocean to America.
Wallabee decides to go after her. Following hints and a chain of letters left for him–always months after Delilah has left–meeting immigrants and hobos and shamanistic blues singers and sibylline prostitutes–living in lumbercamps, in the dark galleys of steamships, in the squalid slums of Chicago, in the haunting quarters of New Orleans, ending up on chain gangs and in prison–and finally lost on the rails in the wintry desolation of the High Plains–Wallaby might never succeed in finding the girl of his dreams. But his Aboriginal Grandfather’s tales of the Dreamtime might just help him in the nick of time . . .
Look for The Wobbly at: http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/?page_id=314
Enter “W” into the title search engine, and find the paperback on the 11th page, the second from the top. Also available as an E-Book