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AMERICA’S leading playwright provocateur, now an octogenarian, Edward Albee—whose plays include the scalding Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Delicate Balance, Three Tall Woman, and the taboo-smashing The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?—is hardly resting on his accumulated laurels (three Pulitzer prizes and three Tony awards). In fact, the playwright is now directing new stagingsMore
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Writer Mary Oliver celebrates her longtime partner’s accomplishments as a photographer.
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Poet of the Cinéma
WHILE COCTEAU IS perhaps best known to Americans for two of the movies he wrote and directed- La belle et la bête (1946) and Orpheus (1949), which figure on most short lists of great French films-he started as a poet and always saw himself as such.
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In this book, Richard Canning, who teaches courses about AIDS literature to college students, has assembled eighteen short stories, written at what he calls “the epidemic’s darkest time of unknowing,” the early 1980’s through 1998. What is startling about these stories, especially for readers who lived through that era, is not how distant but insteadMore
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I MUST CONFESS that I had never heard of Agustín Gómez-Arcos’ The Carnivorous Lamb before learning of this new translation of the book, which was originally published in 1975, but now I want to read all of his works. …
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Feeling Backward is a scholarly treatment of queer theory that assumes some knowledge of conventional literary theory. In it, Heather Love makes the argument that we have feelings in common with those who came before us, but early practitioners of queer theory have ignored the effects of oppression on our literature.
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THIS SPRIGHTLY, informative book does a rare thing: it covers entirely new territory in gay literary studies. Queering the Underworld concentrates on the intersection of the fin de siècle phenomenon of “slumming”-that is, taking the bourgeois reader into the urban demimonde-and the emerging expression of gay and lesbian sexual identities.
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Frame of Reference
… Alistair McCartney spent his youth obsessed with his favorite encyclopedia set, and he has returned to it, as if he’s been haunted by it all these years. It’s a strange, intriguing narrative, mixing fact and fiction, the banal with the apocalyptic, and the nostalgic with the bizarre.
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Opus Queen
Bennett’s omniscient narrator shows us the internal changes that give rise to the Queen’s newly broadened perspective. … And so we witness from an omniscient perspective the Queen’s transformation …
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WHEN CHRIS KNIGHT was thirteen years old, his beloved father died. It appears there was no love lost between his parents: as soon as the funeral was safely over, his mother flew through the house, gathering all of her husband’s belongings. She put them in trash bags, hoping to wipe Bill Knight from her ownMore
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“THERE IS no such thing,” Robert Leleux’s boisterous Texas mother, Jessica Wilson, once told him, “as a happy medium.” With a funny, hyper-campy yet rarely sentimental prose style, Leleux has written a tale about coming out in small-town America and his family’s made-for-TV foibles.
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A FROTHY COMEDY of parlor-room etiquette and sexual wish fulfillment, Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is the bizarro cousin of a Jane Austen novel, in which Regency manners and nuptial expectations are turned inside out. Ann Herendeen’s novel is a lively romp in which girl meets boy, boy meets boy, and everyone falls inMore
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Doom Is in the Air
The Stone Gods exemplifies what has come to be known as the eco-millenarian novel. In this case, Winterson cross-pollinates Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe with Nietzsche’s theory of “eternal recurrence,” a little Orwell, and a dash of quantum physics, to tell the cosmic odyssey of the renegade Sapphic scientist, Billie Crusoe and of her love for Spike,More
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THE MAJOR PLAYS of Tennessee Williams- who died just 25 years ago, in 1983-feature women at their core. But for all their centrality as the emotional focal point of these plays, paradoxically enough, these women are without power in the community they inhabit. It is the men who control events; the women are entirely dependentMore
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WHEN ALFRED KINSEY’S Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was published sixty years ago, in 1948, I was a very gay, extremely troubled, and nearly suicidal sixteen-year-old high school junior desperately seeking any available evidence that I was not the only queer in the visible universe. …
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Short reviews of It’s Late, I Can’t Breathe, Drifting Toward Love, and The Boy with Black Eyes.
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BTW
Commentary on the issues of the day.
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Letters to the Editor
Feedback from readers
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EIGHTY YEARS AGO, The Well of Loneliness was condemned by the English courts as an obscene libel and “burned in the King’s furnace.” The book was indicted and censored solely because of its lesbian theme, for its prose has no spice or sleaze at all. Nothing very sexy goes on in it. “She kissed herMore
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Pandering to the religious Right has reached diminishing returns.
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This essay is adapted from a piece that first appeared in MoreIntelligentLife.com (Jan. 28, 2008), an on-line edition of The Economist. Published with permission.
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NOVEMBER 1978 MARKS the thirtieth anniversary of the defeat of Proposition Six, the infamous Briggs Initiative, in California, which would have barred lesbians and gay men from teaching in state public schools. The victory for gay rights advocates came after a string of stunning defeats in referendum battles to repeal local gay rights laws thatMore
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As we go to press California’s Supreme Court has lifted their ban on same-sex marriage noting this does not grant more legal rights than domestic partnerships. Last week Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled their anti-same-sex marriage amendment strips public employees of domestic partnership benefits. An anti-same-sex marriage constitutional amendment is on California’s November ballot.
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I WROTE Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation after six months of living in New York City over the winter of 1970-71, when I was lucky enough to become part of the emerging gay liberation movement, and to work for a time on the newspaper Come Out!
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IN AS MUCH AS the teenage boy at the heart of Gus Van Sant’s new film has nothing funny or articulate to say, Paranoid Park may become this year’s anti-Juno.
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AS THE FINAL LINE of Whitney Houston’s I Want to Dance With Somebody faded into the ether of disco lights and carcinogenic party fog, two men managed a furtive glance across the dance floor.
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[N]o place in Europe combines enlightened politics with a sunny Mediterranean climate the way Barcelona does, which is why Spain’s second city has become one of the top choices for GLBT people visiting or living in Europe.
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MERLIN HOLLAND is Oscar Wilde’s only grandson and the executor of his literary estate, a position he has held since 1977. A journalist and lecturer, Holland started conducting research on Wilde in the mid-1980’s. His background in industry and commerce preceded a career in academic publishing. At age 63, he is an expert on theMore
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ON THURSDAY, by a 4-3 vote of the state Supreme Court, California followed Massachusetts and became the second state in which same-sex couples can tie the knot as tightly as straight couples can.
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FOUR FROTHY VIGNETTES, perhaps more properly defined as character studies, are strung together in this new comedy by Paul Rudnick, which I saw in a preview performance in New York. While AIDS and 9/11 are sometimes hovering on the periphery, sometimes presented in startling parallels, the author of Jeffrey (1993) and The Most Fabulous StoryMore
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