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THE TITLE of Judy Grahn’s sixteenth book beckons readers into a world in which all living species share a net of consciousness, a mind as distinct from the brain as a biological organ. The ten essays and “true stories” in the Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit exhibit an openness to phenomena that enables Grahn to explore what she describes as her sensory, cellular, and spirit-related consciousness.

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MARCEL PROUST is having a very good year: 2021 marks the sesquicentennial of his birth as well as the centenary of his winning the Prix Goncourt—France’s pre-eminent prize for literature. It also marks the publication in English of a book of new work, The Mysterious Correspondent

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BY THE TIME animal painter Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899) died, she had been one of the most famous and financially successful establishment artists in France for half a century. Railway tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt had bought the canvas regarded as her masterpiece, the 8’ x 16’ Horse Fair in Paris (1853), for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wealthy collectors on both sides of the Atlantic had regularly commissioned canvases from her. …

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Among the surprises in Wild Visionary is the extent of Sendak’s devotion to Herman Melville, for whose Pierre, or The Ambiguities he produced a series of wonderfully homoerotic illustrations. And I was previously unaware of Sendak’s work for AIDS causes.

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AT AGE 21, John Wieners (1934–2002) was high on poetry. The Black Mountain College student wrote to a friend in the spring of 1955, “I just know now that as long as I live I will be a poet, that my life, way of and function of, will be the writing of poetry, as long as it lasts.” …

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A LETTER to the Editor in the January-February 2010 issue of this magazine sparked my interest in the Knights of the Clock, America’s first integrated gay and lesbian social club, founded in Los Angeles in the early 1950s. …

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THE MYSTERY of the serial murders whose perpetrator came to be known as the Last Call Killer began when a maintenance man was cleaning up a rest area on the Pennsylvania Turnpike one spring afternoon in 1991, and he discovered in one of the garbage bags a freckled piece of human flesh.

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TO ANY LGBT PERSON who isn’t accepted enough in their formative years, here’s the drill: you simply wait it out, and eventually find some real family—in the community, in the nightlife, or simply in the world of like-minded adults. That’s when you’ll emerge into your complete acceptance, leading to a worry-free rest of your life spent being validated by your loving peers. So says the fairy tale. But what happens when the new family you enter into turns out to be as flawed as your old one?

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