“A fascinating journey in cruising, sex, and the art scene of Manhattan’s dilapidated waterfront in the 1970s and 1980s.”
"Replete with archival and object-based analyses, Cruising the Dead River
is at once a well-crafted examination of this diverse and neglected history and a highly instructive example for future scholars. . . .
Anderson’s study is likely to have a further, catalytic effect, thanks to her insightful eye and deep archival knowledge."
— ASAP Journal
"Anderson’s book is rigorously researched but she manages to employ this with a light touch, weaving references from Derrida to Catherine Grant, theories of hauntology to theories of fandom, alongside anecdotal accounts of the piers’ activities and close readings of individual artworks by artists such as Peter Hujar, Gordon Matta-Clark and Emily Roysdon. The theory activates rather than distances our visualisation of the waterfront and those who cruised and worked there, making art and selling sex, hanging out in the ‘no-man’s land’."
— This is Tomorrow
“What a strange queer utopia New York’s piers turned out to be: dirty, dangerous, even violent, but at the same time a raw template that took the form of queer desires and imagined futures. In this book—wistful, historical, and necessarily political—Anderson brings deep research and sympathy to this vanished paradise, the crucible for some of the most important art of the last decades of the twentieth century. Cruising the Dead River
is quietly masterful, enriched by a firm grasp of theory lightly worn and a propulsive energy that makes it a genuine pleasure to read.”
— Jonathan D. Katz, University of Buffalo
“Cruising the Dead Rive
r is an original and thoroughly researched examination of the experimental expressions of sex and art made possible by Manhattan’s dilapidated waterfront in the 1970s and 1980s. The wealth of fascinating archival research about the city in this period, and Anderson's thick, detailed descriptions of the contesting forces that shaped its social, sexual, and artistic life are compelling. Considering how quickly contemporary queer and bohemian locales are being lost to gentrification, it is also an extremely timely book.”
— Gavin Butt, Northumbria University