Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety

Marjorie B. Garber, Author Routledge $48 (456p) ISBN 978-0-415-90072-0
From the ``transvestite theatre'' of Shakespearean England and Japan's kabuki to Peter Pan, Boy George and female Elvis impersonators, cross-dressing is a pervasive social phenomenon, claims Garber, director of Harvard's Center of Literary and Cultural Studies. She states that ``there can be no culture without the transvestite,'' who, she argues, calls attention to cultural, social or aesthetic dissonances. The weight of her thesis is carried by such figures as Liberace, Divine, Oscar Wilde and David Bowie, yet her witty, consistently provocative study demonstrates effectively how cross-dressing is wrapped up with recognition of the power of women, androgyny, responses to gay identity and anxiety over economic or cultural dislocations. Garber also looks at transsexuals, drag performances, plays and movies. Photos. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-06-097524-1
Paperback - 443 pages - 978-0-415-91951-7
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