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Sister to sister: in the days of Brother to Brother, New York's wild women held their own.

All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem, 1913-1930 * Andrea Barnet * Algonquin * $16.95

"Life should be ecstasy," the writer Margaret Anderson once said to her lover Jane Heap. Heap replied, "Why limit me to ecstasy?" That exchange perfectly captures the madcap spirit of All-Night Party, Andrea Barnet's glimpse into the salons, nightclubs, and rollicking parties of the teens and '20s. where some of America's wildest women tested ecstasy's limits.

In Greenwich Village, some, like poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, had stormy affairs with members of both sexes. Others, like novelist Djuna Barnes. lived lives of dyke drama in a community that was as incestuous as any group of lesbians today.

Up in Harlem, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Ethel Waters were "in the life" with varying degrees of openness. Once, caught partying with naked girls, Rainey was thrown in jail. Smith--already struggling to keep her own thing for chorus girls secret from her husband--had to come down and bail her out.
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Title Annotation:All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem, 1913-1930
Author:Lehoczky, Etelka
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 26, 2004
Words:164
Previous Article:Props to a gay hero: Duane Boutte talks about bringing the Harlem Renaissance to life in the person of out poet Bruce Nugent.
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