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The Boy Who Sat by the Window
The Boy Who Sat by the Window

The Boy Who Sat by the Window

The Story of the Queen of Soho

By David Hodge, Foreword by Boy George



304 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $19.99 (US $19.99) (CA $26.99)

Publication Date: May 2023

ISBN 9781914451744

Rights: US & CA

Palazzo Editions (May 2023)
Mardle Books

Price: $19.99


"Insightful, lonely, laugh out loud funny." —Jeanette Winterson CBE

"Enjoy this story. I already jumped to the parts about me." —Boy George

The extraordinary life story of David Hodge, the "Very Miss Dusty O," is the gripping story of a bullied young boy who grew up to become the Queen of Soho.

"My story is one of laughter and hedonism, dressing up and showing off...Grubby at times but mine to tell. Here it is. Uncensored." - David Hodge

This gripping true story follows an unassuming boy, separated from other children and made to sit by the window, on to a remarkable career, with celeb buddies including Kylie Minogue, The Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, Cyndi Lauper and, of course, Boy George.

But behind the glitter, there was a far darker reality. David worked simultaneously at London Lighthouse, the pioneering center for the care of people living with HIV and AIDS. The contrast was stark between the life of David Hodge during the day and the life of Miss Dusty O after dark.

After two decades in clubland, as drink and drugs started to take their toll and he feared he was developing his father’s alcoholic patterns, David changed his life yet again…


"Many readers will come to The Boy Who Sat By The Window for the gossip. The stories of brushing shoulders with Princess Diana, dining with Madonna, fighting with his friend Boy George, and partying with the likes of Robbie Williams, Pete Burns, Kylie Minogue, and Grace Jones. But if you’re looking for the acid-tongued wit that made Dusty O a legend, then you may be disappointed to find there is a tone of understanding and forgiveness in his voice. Hodge may serve the tea, but he’s added some soothing honey to counter the bitterness. . . .  Hodge’s tales of London’s famed Pushca and Trannyshack make for a great companion read to Jeremy Atherton Lin’s excellent history of London’s gay scene, Gay Bar: Why We Went Out." —Queer Review

'You don't have to be a drag queen to know that we all have a looking glass self. David's search for his true self is insightful, lonely, laugh out loud funny. A journey of re-invention where personal stories ask bigger questions about gender, society, identity, creativity, and of course, clothes and makeup.'  Jeanette Winterson CBE

'Enjoy this story. I already jumped to the parts about me.' Boy George

'Had me gripped from that killer opening line. Step aboard the Dusty train, all manner of life and love is here. For years David gave good drag. Now he gives good memoir, and I’m here for it.'  Jonathan Harvey, writer

'From bullied gay boy to Queen of Soho, from drag to riches and back again, this is a tale of survival, reinvention and self discovery. Dusty may have been a fabrication but David Hodge is a natural born storyteller. His book is witty, wise and one of the best memoirs I’ve read in years.'  - Paul Burston, author, founder of the Polari Prize

Author Biography

David Hodge is now an acclaimed artist. He has had five international exhibitions of his unique brand of pop-art, including one in the Houses of Parliament. Happily married to Marc, these days David leads a quieter if no less creative life. ‘The Queen of Soho’ is dead. The boy who sat by the window lives on.

Boy George is the lead singer of Culture Club.