Eurovision! Chris West in-conversation with William Lee Adams

Wednesday 10th May 2023
18:30 - 20:00 at Waterstones, Liverpool

Eurovision! Chris West in-conversation with William Lee Adams

Join us for a fabulous evening with authors Chris West and William Lee Adams as they talk about their new books, Eurovision! A History of Modern Europe Through the World's Greatest Song Contest, and Wild Dances: My Queer and Curious Journey to Eurovision.

Eurovision! A History of Modern Europe Through the World's Greatest Song Contest - Chris West
Do you think the world of the Eurovision Song Contest, with its crazy props, even crazier dancers and crazier still songs has nothing to do with serious European politics? Think again. The Contest is watched by over 200 million viewers worldwide. It’s one big party – but it’s also a mirror for the enormous changes in society, fashion, politics, technology and ideas that have swept the continent since 1956, when the first contestants stood and sang in ballgowns and dinner jackets. It has beamed hope across the Iron Curtain, inspired new nations, given voices to silent minorities and once even triggered a national revolution. Eurovision! tells the parallel stories of the Contest and of modern Europe. It shows how seamlessly they interact, and what a fantastic journey it has been. First published in 2017, this updated and revised edition takes in contests up to 2022 and discusses Eurovision in light of Brexit, COVID-19, and the Ukraine war.

Wild Dances: My Queer and Curious Journey to Eurovision - William Lee Adams
A memoir of glitz, glamour, geopolitics, and the power of pop music, following a misunderstood queer biracial kid from small-town Georgia who became the world's foremost Eurovision Song Contest blogger.
As a boy, William Lee Adams spent his days taking care of his quadriplegic brother, while worrying about his undiagnosed bipolar Vietnamese mother, and steering clear of his openly racist and homophobic father. Too shy and anxious to even speak until he was six years old, it seemed unlikely William would ever leave small-town Georgia. He passed the time alone in his room, studying maps and reading encyclopedias, dreaming of distant places where he might one day feel free.

In time, William discovered that learning was both a refuge and a ticket out. So even as he struggled to understand and to get others to accept both his sexuality and his biracial identity, William focused on his schoolwork, his extracurricular activities, and building community with the students and teachers who embraced him for who he truly was. Though his scholarship to Harvard parachuted him into a whole new world, he still carried a lifetime of secrets and unanswered questions that would haunt him no matter how far he traveled.

Years later, as a journalist in London, William discovered the Eurovision Song Contest-an annual competition known for its extravagant performers and cutthroat politics. Initially just a fan, he started blogging about the contest, ultimately becoming the most sought-after expert on the subject. From Albania, Finland, and Ukraine, to Israel, Sweden, and Russia, William was soon jetting across the Continent to meet divas, drag queens, and aspiring singers, who welcomed him to their beautiful, if dysfunctional, family of choice. An uplifting memoir about glitz, glamour, geopolitics, and finding your people, no matter how far you must travel, Wild Dances celebrates the power of pop music to help us heal and forgive.
Liverpool Waterstones, Liverpool
Wednesday 10th May 2023
18:30 - 20:00

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