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Gary L. Atkins is an award-winning
journalist whose works include thecritically acclaimed Gay Seattle: Storiesof
Exile and Belonging and his new book, Imagining Gay Paradise: Bali, Bangkok and
Cyber-Singapore. Informationabout his new book can be found at: http://imagininggayparadise.com/.
Gary specializes in creative non-fiction journalism, fusing
aneasy-to-read narrative style powered by strong characters with questions
about history,geography, communication, and social justice. Gay Seattle follows
the 100-year-long saga through which gay menand women imagined their “coming
home” – rather than just their “coming out” --in the context of the Pacific
Northwest’s famously wet landscape and roguishhistory. Similarly, Imagining
GayParadise journeys through a century of imaginings of paradise and manhood
bygay men in the tropical geography of Southeast Asia. The story stretches
fromthe end of the colonial empires to the present world of cyberspace,
rangingacross the development of the aesthetic paradise of Bali in the 1920s
and 1930sto the erotic paradise of Bangkok fostered from the 1960s onward, and
to thecyber-paradise promoted since the 1990s in Singapore. GaySeattle was
published by the University of Washington Press in 2003 andreceived numerous
accolades for its fusion of journalism and scholarship,including a Washington
State Book Award and a national Jesuit Book Award. The University of Hong Kong
Press ispublishing the hardback edition of ImaginingGay Paradise and is joined
by Silkworm Press of Thailand as co-publishersof the paperback edition.
Imagining GayParadise is also being made available as an e-book. Gary first became interested in writing about age six when his parentsgave him
a rubber-type printing press.He immediately started producing a newspaper for
his local neighborhood in NewOrleans. In high school, he initially thought he
might become a historian or abiologist – two other strong interests – but
eventually he realized that if he enteredjournalism, he could write about all
three of his interests: current politicaland legal events, history, and nature.
He graduated from Loyola University and thenStanford University, served an
internship on the Washington Post and joined thePulitzer-winning Riverside
Press-Enterprise in California -- where he wonnumerous awards for his narrative
and environmental reporting and writing.
SeattleUniversity hired him to
teach in and chair its Communication Department and, in2005, named him a full
professor. He teaches courses in narrative journalism,communication justice,
media and sexual/gender justice, and internationalcommunication in Asia.