Robert Fieseler - TINDERBOX

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 6:30pm
2421 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005

Robert Fieseler will be in conversation with Kristian Salinas of QFest. This event is presented in partnership with the QFest Film Festival.

An essential work of American civil rights history, Tinderbox mesmerizingly reconstructs the 1973 fire that devastated New Orleans’ subterranean gay community.

Buried for decades, the Up Stairs Lounge tragedy has only recently emerged as a catalyzing event of the gay liberation movement. In revelatory detail, Robert W. Fieseler chronicles the tragic event that claimed the lives of thirty-one men and one woman on June 24, 1973, at a New Orleans bar, the largest mass murder of gays until 2016. Relying on unprecedented access to survivors and archives, Fieseler creates an indelible portrait of a closeted, blue- collar gay world that flourished before an arsonist ignited an inferno that destroyed an entire community. The aftermath was no less traumatic—families ashamed to claim loved ones, the Catholic Church refusing proper burial rights, the city impervious to the survivors’ needs—revealing a world of toxic prejudice that thrived well past Stonewall. Yet the impassioned activism that followed proved essential to the emergence of a fledgling gay movement. Tinderbox restores honor to a forgotten generation of civil-rights martyrs.

Robert W. Fieseler is the acclaimed debut author of Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation – winner of the Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime and Lambda Literary's Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers. Fieseler graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship. A proud gay American, he married his longtime partner at Walden Pond and currently resides in New Orleans.

Kristian’s involvement with QFest dates back to 1996, when he served on the Festival’s first Advisory Committee. Now serving as both the Artistic and Executive Director, Kristian oversees fundraising, community partnerships and all programming, taking a lead on feature film, revival, and special screening selections. An alumnus of the RTF program at The University of Texas Austin, Kristian has been involved in nearly every facet within the arts and entertainment industry. He was the Artistic Director of Rice Cinema where he initiated the Cinema's first technical upgrade, which included 70mm and polarized 3-D exhibition, which included the city's only concave silver screen. He continues to serve as a member of the Film Committee at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where he began his career as an intern. He has also worked for Landmark Theatres, The Angelika Film Center, Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), and Allied Integrated Marketing. Kristian also lived in Los Angeles, where he served as the Senior Programmer at Outfest 2003: The 21st Annual Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, as well as a Senior Account Manager for Crew Creative, overseeing accounts for Paramount Pictures, Discovery Channel and Nickelodeon.

Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631491641
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Liveright - June 5th, 2018