Browsing: Book Review

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IN 1890, Weda Cook, a 23-year-old singer, posed for the Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins. Cook later reflected that the painter had inspired in her “love and fear.” The same emotions haunted Eakins. Eakins Revealed, easily the most provocative book ever written about Thomas Eakins, shows how thoroughly love and fear of the body shaped Eakins’ work. …

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AT ONE TURNING POINT in this moving and romantic book, author Jeffrey McGowan, at the time a U.S. Army artillery lieutenant, hits bottom as he goes to war in Operation Desert Storm, knowing that he must hide the fact that he’s gay and in love with a fellow officer. He asks himself: “Why could I be a soldier, but not a man?” …

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… The Five Books of Moses Lapinsky is a fully engaging, compulsively readable stroll-sometimes a race-through the mean streets of Depression-era Toronto with the Lapinsky brothers. …

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PAUL ROBINSON states at the beginning of Queer Wars that “the emergence of gay conservatism as a political and intellectual force is arguably the most important new development in the gay world.” It’s an ambitious claim, and one that would be hard to sustain with reference to today’s political organizations. …

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THIS IS a gripping memoir by a man who spent his early life trying to be “the best little boy in the world.” It’s a quest that seems to be common for many gay boys growing up; it’s just that the path taken by Rich Merritt to be the best was a bit more extreme than the one that most boys, gay or straight, pursue. But so was his Christian fundamentalist education …

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… Although quite enjoyable, the books are a product of their time, and the reader is transported to the early 1970’s with references to hippies, love-ins, the fuzz (the police), phonograph records, bellbottom dungarees, young people whose motto was “never trust anybody over thirty,” and electric typewriters. …

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AS RESEARCH for Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger, author William J. Mann befriended the famed film director and became his documentarian during the last two years of Schlesinger’s life as a stroke patient in Palm Springs. As a result, there is a loose, conversational tone to the book that places it somewhere between biography and memoir. …

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IN CHOOSING to show some of his own skin for the cover of his essays now collected as Beneath the Skin, John Rechy remains the consummate rebel. He appears shirtless and sexy with a cigarette dangling from the lips. …

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THE SUBTITLE of this wonderful new glimpse into the lives of gay, lesbian, and bisexual writers and their friends is an accurate description of its contents. …

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