Less a story, more a series of vignettes – starting with the killer dialogue of ‘The Whores in Jail at Night’ (major Genet vibes) – reading this is to be plugged into the danger and glamour of NYCs queer culture. It’s beguiling and fucking terrifying in equal measure. Needless to say, I’m obsessed by it. This period of NY history has left a lasting imprint of my psyche: Acker, Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, Halston, Studio 54, Danceteria, Fab 5 Freddy, Basquiat, Haring, Ciccone. I couldn’t have written This Brutal House without this story and these ghosts.
First published by Top Stories #9, 1979; reissued as a standalone Penguin Modern #27 by Penguin Modern Classics, 2018