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Sympathy for the Devil
IT HAS BEEN nearly fifty years since the publication of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences, but interest in both the book and in the way he wrote it remains so high …
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Women in Love
Scholars are divided over whether it’s appropriate to use the term “lesbian” to refer to 18th-century relationships between two women, since the word was not used at the time. But despite the absence of the word, people were aware that such relationships and such women existed.
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What You Weren’t Reading in 1952
… British readers will soon have a chance to read an extraordinary piece of autobiographical fiction by the undeniably long-forgotten author G. F. (George Frederick) Green. In the Making had such a negligible impact on its first publication in 1952, moreover, that in any true sense, its republication sixty years later allows us to discover,More
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Shakespeare in (Same-Sex) Love
… Among the many theories and interpretations that have been applied to Shakespeare’s admittedly enigmatic and multi-layered plays and poems, relatively few have delved into the subject of homosexuality …
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The Making of an Outlaw Genre
CHRISTOPHER BRAM is well known for his novels, especially the one that became the acclaimed film Gods and Monsters (originally published in 1995 as Father of Frankenstein). His new book, Eminent Outlaws, is a history of gay literature in the U.S. beginning soon after World War II with Gore Vidal and The City and theMore
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Is Sexual Orientation Research Biased?
[R]esearch on the determinants of sexual orientation-or even gay-associated biological traits such as finger length, fingerprint patterns, inner ear clicks, etc.-have attracted tremendous press. … In Backdrop: The Politics and Personalities Behind Sexual Orientation Research, Gayle Pittman, a Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at Sacramento City College, [explores]how these researchers’ personal backgrounds have influencedMore
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What a Year in Paris Can Do for You
A NEW BOOK by Alice Kaplan, Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, explores the impact of a year in Paris on three prominent American women who made the trip in the postwar era. While Kaplan, a French professor at Yale, explores the intellectual journey that eachMore
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A Writer’s (Very) Raw Material
… This memoir is as lovely and confounding as what we’ve come to expect from a fearless and complex author of novels and memoirs. …
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Back Story for a Painting
CLAUDE CAHUN, noted lesbian photographer of the 1920’s and 30’s, contended that lesbianism “occurs with special frequency in women of high intelligence.” In The Last Nude, novelist Ellis Avery gives Cahun’s notion of an “aristocracy of taste” quite a workout through Avery’s fictionalization of an erotic painting titled Beautiful Rafaela
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Motion Paintings
DEREK JARMAN (1942-1994) is one of those artists whose interests were expansive and who had the creative powers not only to indulge them but to do so with distinction across a broad range of categories. …
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Visconti’s Mann, Mann’s Mahler
AS a longtime devotee of the films of Luchino Visconti (1906-1976), I’m thrilled to report that this new critical study on the work of Visconti is an admirable addition to any film aficionado’s library. …
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Sex and Other Subtexts
While most of the essays in this new collection have been published elsewhere …, they remind us how erudite and fluid White the essayist can be as he moves between history, experience, and reflection. …
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Tough Gay on the Block
Rub Out the Words starts in 1959, when Naked Lunch was first published in Paris, and ends in 1974, when, after living abroad for 25 years, Burroughs returned to New York City to take a teaching job at City College.
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A Visual Artist Who Could Write
JOE BRAINARD (1942-1994) is a name that doesn’t appear in comprehensive reference books on gay American writers and artists, though his accomplishments included drawing, poetry, prose, theatre design, and more. The omission makes this beautifully realized compilation of Brainard’s writings an essential work for anyone interested in mid-century gay life and culture. …
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Short Reviews
Reviews of Native Moments, Carl Van Vechten & The Harlem Renaissance:  A Portrait In Black & White, and Transforming Japan: How Feminism  and Cultural Diversity Are Making a Difference.
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Watching Out for Mom
ABOUT TWENTY PAGES into Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? you realize that this isn’t a memoir so much as a suspense story, the question being, “Is Bechdel going to be able to pull this off?”
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The Affluent Metropolis
Sarah Schulman’s latest book, The Gentrification of the Mind, is in large part a set of provocative arguments about what gets preserved and promoted in American culture and why. …
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More Curious Than Wise
MY UNCLE WILL (1885-1941) is introduced as “queer” in a blurb for this fascinating book about him. He was indeed as odd and self-contradictory as that word implies …
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Psychopathia Sexualis
Hanne Blank is an engaging writer, and her personal stake in the subject makes her analysis both interesting and immediate. This book is a useful addition to a general opening up of binary conceptions of sex and gender that seems to be happening in our society.
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A Place in the Shade
GORDON BALL’S memoir is a beautiful, poignantly sad time capsule by a participant in Allen Ginsberg’s East Hill Farm in upstate New York. …
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Slaves and Vampires
K. MURRY JOHNSON’S Image of Emeralds and Chocolate is a black gay love story set in both contemporary and slave times, a book that’s destined to become a classic in black and gay vampire literature. …
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Identity Shifts
It was mid-1970 when Bornstein-twenty-something, anor-exic, altruistic, and seeking spiritual meaning-started a cross-country pilgrimage that landed him in Colorado. There, while looking for new boots, he found a Scientology center. He entered, and he stayed. …
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New Plays Revisit the Bad Old Days
DAVID AUBURN’S new play, The Columnist, is a stroll down memory lane for many of us of a certain age. … [and]End of the Rainbow … is a play with music rather than a musical. It marks the Broadway debut of Tracie Bennett, who inhabits the role of Judy Garland as she struggled with theMore
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Weird Wonders on Cable TV
[The “Murder House”] figures as prominently as any character in American Horror Story, the new hit show from out TV mogul Ryan Murphy, [and]When American Horror Story returns for a much anticipated second season, Murphy will present an entirely new cast in a new location.
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Incident Exposes Romney as Homophobic Bully
THE POLITICAL WORLD was rocked on May 10 by the revelation that the eighteen-year-old Mitt Romney and his ‘posse’ attacked Cranbrook schoolmate John Lauber, whose long, bleach-blond hair, worn after the fashion of Veronica Lake, sparked ire in the future politician. With appalling force, a group that included the school’s wrestling champion pounced ‘like aMore
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Readers’ Thoughts
Reader’s opinions
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The Multi-Talented Henry Van Dyke
HENRY VAN DYKE (né Henry L. Van Dyke, Jr., 1928-2011), novelist, editor, teacher, musician, and connoisseur of art and life, died on Dec. 22, 2011, of heart failure, at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home he had recently moved into when he felt he was failing and nearing the end. …
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BTW
Takes on news of the day
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The Last Alternative Miss Ireland Is Crowned
ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, Panti, one of Ireland’s best-loved drag queens, took the stage at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin to offer a prayer to Dolly Parton and a welcome to the final performance of Alternative Miss Ireland or AMI, Ireland’s long-running queer beauty pageant-or what Panti likes to call Gay Christmas. After eighteen performancesMore
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Scissor Sisters Bring Activist Message to Their Music
ONE camp-disco-rock ensemble from New York City has seized the stage and captivated us for over a decade with the swift hips and flawless falsetto of down-home boy Jake Shears, the fabulous, loud, and tattooed Ms. Ana Matronic, and their virtuoso, if only slightly more demure comrades, Babydaddy and Del Marquis. …
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