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Nothing Ever Just Disappears

Allen Lane (UK) 2023 -- Pegasus (USA) 2024


A New History

Nothing Ever Just Disappears retraces the footsteps of some of the twentieth century's most remarkable queer writers and artists. Moving through their homes and haunts, it explores the deep connections between where they lived, who they loved, and the iconoclastic artworks they created.

Featuring Derek Jarman, E. M. Forster, London's queer suffragettes, Josephine Baker, Claude Cahun, James Baldwin, Jack Smith, and Kevin Killian.

Reviews & Praise

Hester is attentive to atmosphere, as influenced by both culture and community, and how it acts on individual lives, sometimes expanding horizons and sometimes restricting them… Nothing Ever Just Disappears celebrates the courage it took for these queer people merely to exist, and exist honestly, in a hostile world

The Observer


Remarkable and expansive… tremendously absorbing… The great gift of this book is to offer access to optimism, in these late and shadowed days

The Irish Times


Hester’s liberating, flexible and highly imaginative perspective on queer creativity, and the spotlighting of often under-explored queer creatives, will no doubt ensure the staying power of this new work

The Scotsman


Intriguing and idiosyncratic… a very lively and readable book that shows the ways in which outsiders have created interfaces, of variable permeability, with the society in which they lived

The Spectator


Riveting and evocative… Written with infectious drive, Nothing Ever Just Disappears is considered, fascinating and sparkles with insight

Attitude Magazine 

The famous and the unfamous, a world we didn’t know and a world we thought we did, all these appear and are remade under the regard of Hester’s scholarship and storytelling

Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

A charming, playfully challenging companion on a dreamy quest through lost landscapes of defiance, imagination and desire

Jeremy Atherton Lin, author of Gay Bar


A hymn to the importance of community and place, this is a vital public history of queer life that is both intimate and wondrously radical

Seán Hewitt, author of All Down Darkness Wide

Diarmuid Hester’s beautifully written psycho-biography explores obscure corners of places as sites of hidden queer histories... haunted and haunting -- totally riveting

Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick


A wonderful, wise, and evocative book about queer history.

Alice Winn, author of In Memoriam

A beautifully written and intriguing journey, revealing places and people that should never have been overlooked. A joy to read

Lord Michael Cashman

Image courtesy of Callum Morris from the garden of Prospect Cottage

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