A Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir

St. Martin’s. Oct. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781250195135. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250195142. BIOG
Windsor (1929–2017), in collaboration with Lyon (Pill Head), shares her life’s story of LGBTQ activism and passion, from the origins of her immediate family to her lawsuit against the U.S. government as she fought for recognition of her marriage to Thea Spyer in 2013. Windsor’s death partway through the writing of this memoir, Lyon explains, spurred him to reach out for additional interviews and insights into her life. The details of his methods are included at the end of each chapter, which capture Windsor’s voice beautifully. Readers will be fascinated by not only Windsor’s story but her effervescent personality, as she reveals all aspects of her life, from a long-ago marriage to a man named Saul to her rocky familial relationships and explosive love affairs. With many sparkling memories paired with materials from personal archival collections, this account enthralls with every turn of the page.
VERDICT Whether readers are seeking material on U.S. LGBTQ history, particularly regarding the pre–Stonewall era, or an enrapturing memoir, this work will satisfy. Don’t miss out on this essential read.

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