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Short Reviews
Reviews of The English Poems of Richard Crashaw, and These Things Happen.
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Murder as Mission
  American Honor Killings:  Desire and Rage Among Men by David McConnell Akashic Books. 256 pages, $15.95   THE TITLE of this book refers to a type of murder that involves a straight male perpetrator and a gay male victim. But these are not hate crimes in the usual sense (though they may be reportedMore
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AN AIRPLANE might seem a clichéd place to start a story, but that, and an anguished reflection, are where Judith Frank begins her second novel, All I Love and Know.
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Spanning more than twenty years, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 depicts the lives of various characters that offer their perspectives on each other’s lives as well as the historical moment. 
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AN ALARMING PASSAGE occurs on page 56 of David Greven’s Gender Protest and Same-Sex Desire in Antebellum American Literature.
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  The Glass Closet:  Why Coming Out Is Good Business by John Browne Harper Business.  240 pages, $27.99   JOHN BROWNE was the CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007. During his tenure, a harrowing refinery explosion took place in Texas, killing fifteen and injuring 170 workers. While trying to be the face of corporateMore
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Out of the Capsule
  Sally Ride: American’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr Simon & Schuster.  341 pages, $28.   IT WAS only one sentence in a lengthy obituary of America’s first female astronaut, but it momentarily overshadowed Sally Ride’s inspirational life. “Dr. Ride is remembered by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy,” it read, andMore
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  Letter to Jimmy by Alain Mabanckou Soft Skull Press.  176 pages, $15.   THIS SHORT BOOK provides many insights into the life and work of James Baldwin (1924-1987). On the twentieth anniversary of his death, French-African writer Alain Mabanckou has written a biography in the form of a letter to Baldwin, addressing the novelistMore
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Father of Anxiety
  My Thinning Years:  Starving the Gay Within by Jon Derek Croteau Hazelden.  240 pages, $14.95   IN MY GENERATION, gay boys and their fathers had complicated relationships. I know I did, growing up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in Chicago some sixty years ago. The middle child of five and oldest boy, IMore
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  The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Inten-tions are Sabotaging Gay Equality by Suzanna Danuta Walters NYU Press.  343 pages, $29.95   IF WE TAKE a long view of the trajectory of the American gay rights movement, there is something peculiar about where it seems to have taken us. In 1969, the GayMore
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Secret Service
  Gays in the Military Photographs and Interviews by Vincent Cianni Daylight Books.  256 pages, $45.   BEING GAY became an explicit barrier to military service in 1950, when President Harry Truman signed the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Thirty years later, Ronald Reagan ordered the discharge of any service member who engaged in homosexualMore
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Our Kind of Town
Rebecca Rotert’s novel, Last Night at the Blue Angel, takes place in what feels like a much different Chicago. Like most mature American cities in the mid-1960s, Chicago was literally tearing itself apart.
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  Frida Kahlo by Claudia Bauer (translated by Stephen Telfer) Prestel Verlag. 128 pages, $14.95   MEXICAN PAINTER Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) has had an impressive posthumous life. Actual photos and descriptions of her are as colorful as her paintings, which fit uneasily into a broadly surrealist category. She was largely self-taught and refused to identifyMore
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  Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood Curated by Bob Pranga and Steve Nycklemore The Hollywood Museum   THE INTERSECTION of Hollywood and Highland is undoubtedly the center of tourism in Tinseltown. The Dolby Theater, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Wax Museum, and countless other destinations vie for the attention of visitorsMore
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  An Opening of the Field Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle Curated by and Michael Duncan and Christopher Wagstaff At the Pasadena Museum of California Art to January 11, 2015   ART HISTORY can be a dry affair: a reinterpretation for the umpteenth time of the Mona Lisa’s smile. But sometimes it can bring to lightMore
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The Sloth of Sadness
  NEAR THE BEGINNING of A Single Man, the novel by Christopher Isherwood on which Tom Ford’s new movie [in 2009]is based, a college English professor named George tells his class the story of Tithonus, a beautiful mortal who, after the goddess in love with him asks Zeus to grant him immortality, ages into aMore
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  AT A TIME in the 1970s when talk at the playground was of the sex scene on page 36 of The Godfather, I was perpetually reading page 47 of The City and the Pillar . Of course, I read Mario Puzo’s wet, sticky rendering of a prenuptial encounter for comparison with the passage thatMore
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  I  FIRST DISCOVERED The Well of Loneliness when I was growing up in my academic parents’ house full of books. I became aware that this book had been banned in England, and I believed this was because the English legal system of the time still enforced Victorian morality, unlike the legal system in theMore
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  IN MY YOUTH, I had a strong gaydar when it came to literature, reveling in the homosexual undertones of the classics. Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that anyone could be blind to the essential gayness of Moby-Dick or Songs of Myself, but at the time, reading such works aroused no suspicion. WhenMore
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WAS THERE a real-life model for Dorian Gray? Opinion among Wilde scholars is divided, but Jerusha Hull McCormack, who has written a book titled The Man Who Was Dorian Gray (2006), is quite sure there was. His name was John Gray, a minor British poet about whom she has written a number of works. AndMore
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BTW
  Keep the Well in Greenwell  There was once a country singer named Josey Greenwell who had a following and was openly gay (as reported by queerty.com). But then he sort of dropped out of sight for a while—it happens—and after six or eight months his fans noticed that even his Facebook page and WikipediaMore
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Readers’ Thoughts
In Defense of Grindr To the Editor:          It’s great to see a Marxist analysis of gay life in the Review [“Grindr’s Lonely Crowd,” September-October 2014 issue]. Unfortunately, Fox’s comment reminds me of the lingering puritanism in Marxism, and the recourse to abstract language, which is particularly unhelpful when one is talking about intimate life.         More
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  IN HIS MEMOIR Christopher and His Kind, Christopher Isherwood describes his relationship with E. M. Forster, who was 25 years his senior. When they met in 1932, Isherwood felt that “Forster was the only living writer whom he would have described as his master.” Less than a year later, Forster allowed him to readMore
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  WHEN James Baldwin presented a manuscript of Giovanni’s Room to his agent, Helen Strauss, she told him to burn it. It was his second novel. His first, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was a success with readers and critics. His editor at Knopf was eager for a second success by the young andMore
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  BEST KNOWN for her historical novels set in ancient Greece, many with overtly homosexual themes and scenes, Mary Renault began her career with a novel set in modern times called The Charioteer (1953). Taking place during World War II, the novel recounts the story of a wounded soldier named Laurie “Spud” Odell who isMore
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  GORE VIDAL died in 2012, at 86, and The New York Times obituary reluctantly conceded that his claim of having been blacklisted by the newspaper for writing The City and The Pillar “may have been right.” The publication of an explicitly gay novel was unprecedented in 1948. The arc of Vidal’s life was circumscribedMore
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  WHILE The Well of Loneliness has generally been granted pride of place as the first lesbian novel, can a case be made for it as the first “gay” novel, broadly defined to include both men and women? Published soon after Proust’s magnum opus was translated into English, Radclyffe Hall’s novel, unlike Proust’s, had anMore
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  NO ONE SPEAKS of À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) as a gay novel; it’s a novel about fin-de-siècle Paris, about the rarefied world of duchesses and princesses. It’s the story of a man who dips a madeleine (a sort of French cookie) into his tea and is instantlyMore
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  A COMPELLING CASE can be made for E. M. Forster’s Maurice as the first gay novel. Completed 100 years ago this year, Forster’s boldness lay in his revolutionary decision to adapt the discourse of the marriage novel to a moving depiction of same-sex love. He was the first to do so, even if hisMore
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  THE AUTHOR of this piece passed away in 2011, having contributed many articles to this publication over the years, including this feature-length review of a book with the somewhat salacious title, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde (2005), by Neil McKenna. While Hattersley doesn’t directly address the question of The Picture of Dorian Gray’sMore
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  Big Joy The Adventures of James Broughton Directed by Stephen Silha and Eric Slade Frisky Divinity Productions   JUST AS Deep Throat made hard-core pornography more acceptable for the masses in the 1970s, it was The Bed, a much lesser known art film shot in California in1968, that would usher in the era ofMore
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  Yves Saint Laurent Directed by Jalil Lespert The Weinstein Company     Violette Directed by Martin Provost Adopt Films   ONE OF THE PITFALLS of any biopic is the lead actor’s temptation to do a full-throttle imitation of the person whose life story is being told. Unless you’re Meryl Streep channeling Margaret Thatcher orMore
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  LITERATURE aimed at teenagers has been around since the 1940s, but it really came into its own only in the 1970s. The popular and never out-of-print Annie on My Mind, published in 1982 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is well-known for its portrayal of teenage lesbian love, and it is one of the firstMore
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  Pop Psychology Album by Neon Trees Island Records   “COME OUT as a wanderer. Come out as a questioner. One day it won’t matter. But it still does.” The author of this exhortation is Tyler Glenn, the lead singer of the alt-rock band Neon Trees, who came out in Rolling Stone earlier this year.More
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