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  The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life by Karin Roffman Farrar, Straus and Giroux 336 pages, $30.   WHEN JOHN ASHBERY died at ninety in September, some lamented the passing of America’s greatest living poet. No one agrees on what is meant by “great,” but I was in a restaurant reminding myself ofMore
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Evolutionary Origins of Homosexuality
Male homosexuality appears to have arisen via human evolution because of its potential benefits for the functionality and survivability of the family.
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The attacks on Alger Hiss came from none other than the future president Richard Nixon, who was hoping to win his first term in the U.S. Senate. Also attacking Hiss was the notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose purge of suspected Communists was in full swing, and his lawyer Roy Cohn, a closeted gay man.
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This interview was conducted by telephone in late September 2017.
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The irony that lies behind a fascinating new collection of the two men’s letters, The Luck of Friendship (expertly edited by Peggy L. Fox and Thomas Keith), is our knowledge that Williams wanted both commercial and literary success.
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What made Kallman a better candidate for Auden’s affections than previous attachments was their shared class origins, Kallman’s precocious intelligence, and his passion for language.
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IT’S QUITE POSSIBLE that only a few readers of this magazine will know who Charles Henri Ford was. Yet here we have a lengthy and heavily annotated book from Bloomsbury Press about his work—or, rather, about certain aspects of his work.
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Warhol Off the Wall
IT HAS BEEN three decades since Andy Warhol died at New York Hospital (on February 22, 1987) of complications from gall bladder surgery. In 2017, over a dozen books about Warhol or his art, ranging from the frivolous to the academic, were published. After Andy and 3D Warhol can be found at either end ofMore
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  Fighting Proud: The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served in Two World Wars by Stephen Bourne B. Tauris. 236 pages, $27.50     OVER A QUARTER CENTURY ago, Allan Bérubé’s groundbreaking book Coming Out Under Fire (1990) brought attention to the plight—and the heroism—of thousands of gay and lesbian Americans in the armed servicesMore
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Freak Out!
  Studio 54 by Ian Schrager Rizzoli International Publications 396 pages, $75.     THE MOST striking feature of Studio 54 is its heft: Amazon lists the shipping weight as 8.2 pounds. Almost any page of this substantial publication confirms what people already know about the legendary nightclub: that it was a playground for celebrities,More
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How to Get to Barbary Lane
Maupin’s latest book, the memoir Logical Family, is his first book of nonfiction, yet he brings to it the unique storytelling gifts that have animated his fiction, and he more than delivers on the “tap dancing” that will win his readers’ attention and engagement.
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  The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne Hogarth. 580 pages, $28.   JOHN BOYNE has published nine novels in Ireland and a number of books for young adults, including the international bestseller, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. He is not, however, known for featuring gay characters or themes, which is perhaps why theMore
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Short Reviews
Reviews of Writers Who Love Too Much; David Bowie Made Me Gay; Sexagon: Muslims, France, and the Sexualization of National Culture; and Our Horses, Ourselves.
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  Charles Ludlam Lives! Charles Busch, Bradford Louryk, Taylor Mac, and the Queer Legacy of the Ridiculous Theatre Company by Sean F. Edgecomb Michigan. 246 pages, $70.     FOR THOSE who liked Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatre Company in its heyday in the 1960s, what can one say? There was a lot to like. It was a theaterMore
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Romantic Poets
  The Shelley-Byron Men: Lost Angels of a Ruined Paradise by John Lauritsen Pagan Press. 192 pages, $16.   ONE STRIKING ASPECT of this book is the author’s animus toward the literary executors and biographers of the Romantic poets Shelley and Byron. John Lauritsen is correct that until the early 1980s most academics and biographers resistedMore
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WHEN MICHAEL AUSIELLO spotted Christopher “Kit” Cowan at a New York event for gay athletes, it was a match made in Manhattan, but there is no happy ending to this boy-meets-boy love story. To say so is not to ruin anything for the reader. The author reveals the unhappy ending to this memoir in itsMore
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  A Sinner in Mecca: A Gay Muslim’s Hajj of Defiance by Parvez Sharma BenBella Books. 280 pages, $16.95     IN THIS POWERFUL MEMOIR, filmmaker Parvez Sharma describes the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey he embarked on while going on the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. The risks were great indeed, for as anMore
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  JUAN BASTOS is a portrait painter whose work was on exhibit at a major retrospective at the Denenberg Fine Arts Gallery in West Hollywood, CA, in November. Included in the exhibition were the covers of several issues of The Gay & Lesbian Review that featured Juan’s art.             I had a lively conversation with Juan aboutMore
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B.T.W.
  Three Photos in No Need of a Punchline They pretty much speak for themselves. They come from around the world, and all three involve matters of questionable taste as locally defined. For anyone who missed this sign in front of the Bella Vista Baptist Church in Edgewater, Florida, which went TV viral in earlyMore
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Letters to the Editor
Author Questions Basis for Review To the Editor: I was disappointed in your review [Nov.-Dec. ’17] of my novel Our Time: San Francisco in the 70s. Your reviewer found my resume more important than his job as a reviewer to comment on the style and content of the novel. Did he read the wrong thing? IMore
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  Battle of the Sexes  Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris Cloud Eight Films, Decibel Films, Fox Searchlight, TSG Entertainment     BATTLE OF THE SEXES recounts what was in fact the battle of the decade: the women’s movement and the sexual revolution versus the inevitable male chauvinist backlash, all telescoped into a single eventMore
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    I CAN REMEMBER every time I have used a men’s restroom since coming out as a man. The first time, I was walking through my university with a friend, and I hesitated at the door as the outline of a male stick figure drilled into my gaze, my hesitation prompting my friend toMore
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    ONE OF THE PIVOTAL FIGURES in the Gay Liberation Movement, Charley Shively died on Friday, October 6th, at the Cambridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He had been a resident there since June of 2011, suffering from Alzheimer’s. He would have turned eighty on December 8, 2017. At the 1977 BostonMore
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IN KEEPING WITH this magazine’s annual tradition, we remember here the activists, writers, artists, entertainers, and other notable members of the LGBT community, and some allies, who died over the past twelve months.
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    Fun Home Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel Directed by Sam Gold Touring Broadway Company at the Boston Opera House, Oct. 17-29, 2017     IF THEATER IS a temporary rearrangement of life to spark discovery, the musical Fun Home, adapted from cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s bestselling graphic memoir of the same name,More
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