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Beyond “Goat Head,” Jaime is Howard’s most forceful expression of her politics, and it could have only been recorded at this point in American history.

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IN THE YEARS before the Civil War, Washington, D.C., was “very much a work in progress”: most of its roads were muddy mires, neighborhoods were far apart by horseback, and much of the city sat in a genuine swamp to which most Congressmen had to travel from far away. In Bosom Friends,  Balcerski conveys the roughness of the city in you-are-there detail …

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PARIS, 7 A.M. is a quietly striking novel that imagines poet Elizabeth Bishop’s first trip to Europe in 1937.

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WHEN we first encounter the title character of Nicole Dennis-Benn’s intergenerational family saga, Patsy, she’s standing in line outside the U.S. embassy in Jamaica, dreaming of America. The year is 1998.

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CHANTAL AKERMAN’S memoir My Mother Laughs is similar to her films: layered, defying time and space, concerned with the quotidian. Her work is woman-centered, often lesbian-centered, and focused on describing the position of women in society, including how the oppressive forces of patriarchy inflict both physical and emotional trauma on women.

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Reading Love Unknown is like touring Bishop’s word-ridden, complex, and stirring worlds. With an atlas and a book of her poems close by, it delivers a highly satisfying ride.

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Short reviews of History’s Queer Stories, A Wild and Precious Life, and The Householders.

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Peter McGough’s memoir I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going captures the silly, desperate decade they lived through and the peculiar ménage which is their major work of art.

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FROM the opening pages of this heart-felt memoir, Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas, by Dustin Lance Black, we learn that it is not only a story about his life’s journey but also of his mother Anne and her remarkable life story.

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Gorgeously lyrical, unabashedly fanciful, Find Me is one of those delicious literary confections that turns out to be more than just a mess of empty calories. Witty, wise, breathtakingly elegant, Aciman’s novel ultimately tweaks the nose of Henry James and his arch, ironic tragedies, opting instead to embrace and celebrate the brave new world of Shakespearean romance.

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