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Jeffrey Weeks

Between Worlds: A Queer Boy from the Valleys (paperback)

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 Jeffrey Weeks has been called ‘the most significant British intellectual working on sexuality to emerge from the radical sexual movements of the 1970s’. Yet behind the titles and acclaim lies the story of a hugely fascinating, inspirational life – one both immersed in love and blighted by pain and loss.

Growing up in a tight-knit mining community in the post-war Rhondda Valleys, Weeks knew from a young age that he was different. However, grappling with his burgeoning gayness amid this hotbed of sexual conservatism and traditional gender divisions, his initial explorations into this uniqueness led to little more than isolation and shame. Finding salvation in his studies, university brought with it a life-defining opportunity to thrive within the radical culture of late sixties and seventies London. He soon found himself at the forefront of the new gay liberation movement, and his work as its pioneering historian would spark a long career as a researcher and writer on sexuality, with widespread national and international recognition.

Spanning the parochial South Wales Valleys of the forties and fifties, London’s swinging sixties and politically turbulent seventies, the hedonistic heights of eighties San Francisco, overshadowed by the AIDS epidemic, and revolutionary modern- day Cuba, Between Worlds is an informative, moving and intimate history of how these juxtaposing communities shaped one man from the Rhondda.

 

"Beautifully written, wise and insightful." Western Mail

"By addressing the psychological boundaries around close-knit communities, Weeks made it less likely that young people would feel the necessity to leave areas such as the Valleys due to their sexuality." Richard King, The Guardian

“A revelation . . . Humorous, passionate, insightful and written with literary flair” – Daryl Leeworthy, author of A Little Gay History of Wales

 

Jeffrey Weeks was born in the Rhondda in 1945. He moved to London in the 1970s and began a long career as a researcher and writer on sexuality, with widespread national and international recognition. He has been described as the ‘most significant British intellectual working on sexuality to emerge from the radical sexual movements of the 1970s’. He held a number of senior university posts and is currently Emeritus Professor of Sociology at London South Bank University. He is the author, co-author or editor of some twenty-five books and numerous articles. He lives in London with his civil partner, Mark McNestry.