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Robert Lord Diaries

Robert Lord (1945–1992) is an important figure in the history of literature and theatre in Aotearoa New Zealand. Co-founder of Playmarket and author of Well Hung, Bert and Maisy and Joyful and Triumphant, Robert Lord wrote incisive and often satiric radio and stage plays, experimenting with traditional theatre forms and incorporating queer characters at a time when almost nobody else did. His diaries, which record his life from 1974, when he first moved to New York, until his death in Dunedin in 1992, capture the highs and lows of his writing practice, the theatre world and his social life. Revealing the dramatic contrast between life as a gay man in 1970s and 80s New York – a world of sex, drugs and socialising – and provincial New Zealand, with its respectable living rooms, fields of carrots and the occasional homoerotic demonstration of sheep shearing, his diary entries tell of torn loyalties and reveal the intense creative momentum Lord forged from his dislocated, outsider status.

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