NEWS & MEDIA

Southeastern's Sims Library to present best selling author as guest speaker

 

Monday, April 15, 2019Robert W. Fieseler
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

Photo credit: Ryan Leitner
BEST SELLING AUTHOR TO SPEAK AT SIMS LIBRARY - Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library will present guest speaker Robert W. Fieseler, author of the 2018 book “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation.” Co-sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Southeastern Chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the free lecture is scheduled April 29, at 5:30 p.m. on the third floor of Sims Library.

 


     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library will present guest speaker Robert W. Fieseler, author of the 2018 book “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation.” Co-sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Southeastern Chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the free lecture is scheduled April 29, at 5:30 p.m. on the third floor of Sims Library.
     “In June 1973, an arson fire at the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay nightclub in New Orleans, claimed the lives of 32 people. Robert W. Fieseler’s book details the horrors of the fire and its aftermath,” said Sims Library Director Eric Johnson.
     “Unlike the 2016 mass shooting in the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse, which became instant news with national and world figures expressing words of sympathy and condolence, the story of the Up Stairs Lounge received scant notice and had disappeared willfully, hushed by a nation not ready to look,” Fieseler said. “The Up Stairs Lounge fire received no political attention or investigative stories from a national newspaper. The mainstream reaction to the fire ranged from silence and avoidance to trivialization and demonization.”
     Why this was so, and what caused the change, said Sims Library Director Eric Johnson, is part of the story told in this fascinating talk.
     Fieseler’s debut book was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness, and is a finalist for the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction and the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Fieseler graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship. He lives in New Orleans with his husband.
     The lecture is free and open to the public. Fieseler will sign books following his presentation.
     For more information, contact Johnson at 549-3962.




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