Browsing: The AMPERSAND Issue

March-April 2019

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The Favourite has many strong suits, the most impressive of which is its ability to cultivate our emotional investment in a group of characters whose motives are largely veiled. The only fully transparent character is Abigail, who declares: “I am on my side. Always.”

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Bohemian Rhapsody is essentially a biopic about Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991. In the starring role, Rami Malek (the Emmy-winning star of Mr. Robot) struts about onstage in ballet tights and presents himself, in more ways than one, as the whole package.

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My Butch Career joins a distinguished list of lesbian herstories that includes Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues and Lillian Faderman’s Naked in the Promised Land. It is for readers interested in the psychological and cultural challenges for an individual who identifies as a butch lesbian, as well as readers who are interested in lesbian herstory within the greater context of the gay rights movement.

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JODIE McCARTY had been given a life sentence behind bars. But there she was, ready to leave after only eighteen years inside Jaxton Prison, a ticket in her hand, along with $400 borrowed from her twin brothers. Jodi McCarty was going home to West Virginia. So begins Mesha Maren’s novel, Sugar Run.

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BASED ON the age of its characters, Last Night in Nuuk falls squarely in the New Adult market, and the novel closely aligns with current trends in that genre.

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What’s Left of The Night tells the story of the early years of the poet C. P. Cavafy when he was simply Constantine. Set during three days in Paris in 1897 while Cavafy is traveling with his older brother, it shows him slowly discovering his voice and subject matter while exploring the city and remembering its history.

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Sketchtasy, with its detailed and well-researched descriptions of gay life in Boston twenty years ago, is itself educational, showing younger readers what the city was like before the Internet ruined gay night life.

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In I Can’t Date Jesus:, Michael Arceneaux writes about his childhood sexual experiences, his early religious indoctrination, his love for female recording artists (particularly Beyoncé), his struggle to make a living as a writer, coming out, and dating.

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Ginsberg’s major themes involved madness, homosexuality, drugs, his mother’s mental illness, and his critique of society’s repressive rules and roles. These ideas recur throughout his published works, including his journals. Iron Curtain Journals: January–May 1965.

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Bledsoe grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now lives with her partner Patricia Mullan in Berkeley Hills, California. A novelist and nonfiction writer, she has been awarded two National Science Foundation fellowships for writers, and her books have been translated into five languages. Exploration and discovery on a personal and global scale mark her work.

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