Browsing: Book Review

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This is primarily a tale of one heterosexual man’s obsessive love and even more obsessive jealousy for a woman he eventually dismisses as his social inferior: “To think that I wasted years of my life, that I wanted to die, that I had my greatest love, for a woman to whom I wasn’t attracted, who wasn’t my type!” (Yes, Proust’s “wit” is often classist.)

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Other Names is about far more than shifting attitudes about homosexuality or a troubled father-son relationship. It’s about what constitutes one’s identity. What does it mean to be Pakistani or British? To be a son? To be a gay man?

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Hound of the Baskervilles has some similarities to McOmber’s 2020 novel Jesus and John, in which the Apostle John and a newly resurrected Jesus try to escape from a labyrinthine villa in ancient Rome.

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These stories, in short, are a celebration of gay sex: not comradely affection, not romantic friendship, but actual gay sex. It’s good to have access to them as a reminder of what was possible a hundred years ago.

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This translation of Moldy Strawberries—forty years after it was first published—finally offers to English readers this important work of world queer literature.

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Brief reviews of the books A Short History of Queer Women, Brother Alive, Jazzed, and Love Poems of a Gay Nerd; and the album Bronco.

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LONNEKE GEERLINGS opens her biography of Rosey E. Pool, I Lay This Body Down, by depicting her subject getting off a cattle car destined for Auschwitz. Convincing the authorities that she was a guard who had lost her identifying armband, combined with her fluent German, served to win her a temporary reprieve. In any event, this quick-witted evasion both saved her life and forever marked her with survivor’s guilt.

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I have devoured Jack Fritscher’s writing in all its forms since the 1970s, so I am well acquainted with his vast knowledge not only of the leather community but of pop culture in general, his muscular prose style, his engaging wit and humor, his fervid dedication to Leathermen and Leatherwomen around the world, and his commitment to preserving gay history. Even so, Profiles in Gay Courage astonished me with its depth of feeling and its perfect reconstruction of that glorious, heartbreaking time before …

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Lorca’s status as a gay man is treated thoroughly and from some unusual angles. The author asks what it means for Lorca to be a gay icon when he was not officially out during his lifetime, and very little of his written work has anything resembling a gay theme.

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Ocampo’s conclusion is poignantly bittersweet: “the survival of the second-generation gay men took the form of suppression, assimilation, and overachievement.” However, these are the brown gay men who have succeeded.

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