(Image via Grand Central Publishing)
Coming June 6 is the official, definitive oral history of RuPaul's Drag Race, a book called And Don't F&%k It Up: An Oral History of RuPaul's Drag Race (The First Ten Years). Published by Grand Central Publishing, it:
... will follow RuPaul’s Drag Race over its first ten years, encompassing the show's first 14 seasons and its rise from industry outsider to award-winning, international franchise. Through the narrative of Drag Race, AND DON’T F&%K IT UP tells a unique social history by way of stories from the people who lived it: the creators of the show, the contestants, the crew, the judges, and even some key (famous) fans.
Written by seasoned entertainment reporter Maria Elena Fernandez in collaboration with World of Wonder, the story begins with RuPaul's 34-year friendship and business relationship with Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato and their production company World of Wonder. Together, Bailey, Barbato and World of Wonder helped to launch RuPaul into superstardom, and later talked him into giving a drag reality show a chance. From there, AND DON’T F&%K IT UP traces the evolution of the show — and its queens — through a decade of gag-worthy seasons, serving up behind-the-scenes realness ranging from Ongina's decision to reveal her HIV+ status to the story behind Asia O'Hara's butterfly finale fiasco.
"One thing that has always been true about RuPaul's Drag Race is that it takes a village, people,” said World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. “We are so excited that those people have shared their stories and anecdotes, and cannot wait to take readers behind the curtain of Drag Race. The result of all these voices is a tale that is every bit as fascinating as the show itself; joyous, uplifting, honest. We hope readers will both laugh and cry — and laugh — again."
“Before Drag Race premiered, I was drawn to the artistry and entertainment value of drag but I had never considered the bravery behind the transformation process or spent much time thinking about the person behind the makeup and wig,” shared author Maria Elena Fernandez. “Drag Race opened me up and made me a better human, so when I was approached about working on an oral history of this cultural juggernaut’s first decade, the answer was a resounding Yas, Queen! Come for the tea, stay for the shade.”
With a history as shady and funny as it is dramatic and inspiring, RuPaul's Drag Race serves as a mirror reflecting the cultural and political shifts of our time. Its meteoric rise as a once-in-a-generation success story is explored here as never before, in intimate, exuberant, unfettered detail.
AND DON’T F&%K IT UP is being published by Grand Central Publishing and releases in hardback, Audiobook and ebook on June 6, 2023, in the US. Pre-ordering is now available HERE and wherever books are sold.
I wish I'd been asked to write this, and I wish this oral history were titled Haven't Had Any Complaints or Reading Is Fundamental, but other than that ... can't wait!