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Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain Paperback – 1 Sep 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thorntree Press (1 Sept. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996460160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996460163
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"I love that this book is written by a range of bisexual authors, so you are getting many different points of view, and therefore you'll always find something in the book that you can relate to or understand, whether you are a bisexual person or someone in your life is bisexual and you want to understand them a bit more." bookfangirling.blogspot.ca"

There are so few books published where the lives of bisexual people are the starting point. But that s not the only reason Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain is important. It s an interesting and enjoyable book, featuring contributions from a wide range of people from across the British bi community. Addressing the needs and concerns of bi people, this is a must-read for anyone who is attracted to people of more than one gender, and for those who know and love us." Sue George, author, Women and Bisexuality, blogger, bisexualityandbeyond.com"

"At last! British bisexuals come out of the closet with Purple Prose answering pressing questions about identity, activism, prejudice, relationships and much more. With bisexuality becoming ever more visible in mainstream culture, this book is essential reading for bi people and would-be allies, within the LGBT community and beyond. You need a copy in your life." Louise Carolin, Deputy editor, DIVA magazine"

"Purple Prose is an important book. Its publication may be a watershed moment for the bisexual community in Britain. It reaches out to [bisexuals] and says that you are important, you are an individual and your sexuality is a legitimate reflection of you as a person." Andy Heath, thebookbag.co.uk"

"Purple Prose is . . . like a series of documentaries, each chapter introducing topics like dating and fictional bisexuality to bisexual black and minority people and lesser-spotted attractions, with interview-style passages from notable blogs and activists in the UK community. Verdict: highly recommended." Louisa Leontiades, louisaleontiades.com"

About the Author

Kate Harrad is a published fiction and non-fiction writer. She has over a decade of experience working in business editorial/writing positions, and has written for the Guardian, The F-Word and the Huffington Post. She is also a longtime bi activist and has co-organized numerous UK bisexuality events.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I want to start this review by saying there should be a copy of this book available to every Gay Switchboard, Doctor, Headteacher or Counsellor and everyone in the LGBT community (or LG, LGGG...GGGGGGG and even LGb(t) as some of the writers put it) should be encouraged to read it. It is not at all difficult to read and it shows that being bisexual is not a “one size fits all” label. Being bisexual is not about being confused, trendy, greedy or dishonest. Biphobia and bi-erasure are institutionalised everywhere. The common stereotypes are just wrong. (When is stereotyping ever right?) Bisexuals are often, but not always, monogamous. They might identify as straight or gay/lesbian their entire lives but know they have romantic feelings towards both genders and indeed sometimes to people whose gender falls outside the binary norm. A bisexual friend once said to me “I love a person, not a gender.” Think about that. For those individuals, gay or straight, who fall into the “monosexual” category gender assumes an overwhelming significance in partner choice. For bisexuals it does not – a person is loved for more than their intimate parts, their masculinity or femininity. This should be liberating. Often it is not.
I was no stranger to a lot of these experiences although some of the words were new to me (thinking metamour and Lesbian Sheep Syndrome amongst others) and I can’t praise this book highly enough. Kate Harrad and her team of authors and bisexual activists have done a superb job in flagging up issues of invisibility, erasure, ignorance and outright hostility from both straight and homosexual (particularly lesbian) communities. One particularly moving section was the contribution from Omar J. Sakr. It was beautifully written and spoke directly to me. Thank you Omar.
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, for which I am grateful. I only wish it had been written back in the 1970s.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have identified as bisexual for decades and have read more than a few books on the subject. In my experience, once you've read several books on a topic, each additional book tends to cover much the same ground you read about in previous books, so there is little room for further learning. As such, when I heard about "Purple Prose", I thought it would probably fall into the category of "It's a good book but I won't learn much new from it". However, I decided to buy it anyway out of curiosity.

I am delighted to say I was wrong in thinking there wouldn't be much new (to me) material in "Purple Prose". I found the book to be very informative, but with a few flaws. I will starting by discussing the book's good qualities.

First, the bisexual community overlaps with other minority communities, for example, trans, kink, poly, disability, black-and-minority-ethnic and religious. The book contains chapters/sections on such topics, and they they are written by people within those overlapping communities. If you identify with some of those labels, you are likely to think, "Finally, a bisexual book that includes some other aspects of my life". If, like me, you don't identify with any of those labels, you are likely to become better informed about some of your neighbours within the bisexual community.

Second, when the book covered topics that I was already familiar with, and agreed with, I often found that the topics were discussed in a way I hadn't encountered before. Thus, I often had "I hadn't thought of it that way" moments. That helped to keep the book interesting when I was reading "not new to me" material.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent and extensive but easily absorbed and easy to dip into book containing a plethora of experiences, insights, advice and support for everyone. Whether yourself, your partner, a family member or friend has just come out to you/your social group, or is curious or questioning their sexual/romantic attraction identity, this book will help both you and them and you'll have a better view of what it means/can mean in many areas of life.

Thinking of coming out as non-monosexual (perhaps the most inclusive definition)? Wondering about non-monogamy (polyamory or similar) as a bisexual? Lots of examples of how it can go, good and bad, and ideas to help. A lot of useful information and shared experiences for almost any question about bisexuality you can imagine thats relevant today, and especially today in the UK. The most up-to-date book on the topic there is, with no comparison to any of the other bi books around which are currently too American-focussed or too old to be as useful - for example in reference to social media online. Great as a book to dip into a random section in a spare few minutes, you'll probably end up reading more than you planned to and learning something every time. Strongly recommended; there's also an ebook version available too I believe (maybe only from other places).

Note: I obtained my copy by supporting (ie. pre-purchase) the crowdfunding campaign, this review is entirely my own opinion and not funded by anyone.
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Format: Paperback
The first book about life as a bisexual in Britain for year, and really well done. It covers so many different perspectives, in a way that most books on LGBT life don't even start to touch on. I wish everyone whose job it is to support bi people (which is a LOT of people!) had a copy of this on their shelves - it destroys all the many myths about bisexual people that still float about, even these days.

A wonderful book, and a wonderful start to understanding a massively misrepresented section of the LGBT community.
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