A Sturdy Yes of a People: Selected Writings by Joan Nestle

Vital new collection of iconic essays by writer, activist, and community herstorian Joan Nestle

For over fifty years, Joan Nestle has been chronicling lesbian and queer life boldly with guts, heart, and moral suasion. A Sturdy Yes of a People gathers Nestle’s most influential writing into a single volume presenting her persistent involvement in liberation movements, LGBTQ histories, erotic writing, and archives that document gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer lives. Embedded in tales of lesbian desire are Nestle's concerns with the power of class and race in America to exile bodies.

A bold and original thinker, deeply connected with her communities, with an abiding willingness to reexamine and reimagine queer lives by integrating new ideas, challenges, and experiences, Nestle dazzles as a powerful thinker, writer, and theorist. This new collection features an introduction by scholar Carolyn D’Cruz, a foreword by Yeva Johnson, and an afterword by Susie Bright. This new volume provides a vibrant context for contemporary readers to engage with Joan Nestle’s historically significant and dynamic work.

About Joan Nestle
Joan Nestle is a working-class, Jewish lesbian, writer, editor, teacher, activist, and co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City. She is the author of A Restricted Country, winner of an American Library Association Gay and Lesbian Book Award, and A Fragile Union, a Lambda Literary Award recipient. She edited over a dozen award-winning collections. She lives in Australia with her lover, Di Otto.

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A Sturdy Yes of a People Media Kit.
Review of A Sturdy Yes of a People at the Jewish Book Council.
Interview with Joan Nestle at Queer Forty
Review published in the Journal of Lesbian Studies "Histories of resistance Joan Nestle and Irena Klepfisz as keepers of memory." "Nestle crafts for us a beautifully tender personal history that forms a politic of desire and sexuality free of saccharine romanticization or oversimplified shame."

Cheryl Clarke Interviews Joan Nestle

Joan Nestle Reads from A Sturdy Yes of a People

Read the transcript from this zoom event here.
Read the closed captioning from this zoom event here.

Intergenerational A Sturdy Yes of a People Panel

Table of Contents:


"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

― Leslie Feinberg

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven