Browsing: Fall Reading

September – October, 2007

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IN 1955, Rose Bamberger, a Filipina lesbian, brought together four couples to form a “secret society of lesbians” in San Francisco. She wanted to be able to dance, drink, and socialize without the fear of harassment or arrest that homosexuals risked at the bars. At the first meeting someone suggested that the group be called the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) (bil-EE-tis).

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FANS of Armistead Maupin’s magnificent “Tales of the City” series have a reading treat awaiting them. As the title of Maupin’s new novel reveals, Michael Tolliver-“Mouse”-is alive.

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Despite the high praise that he garnered and his place as a giant in the history of drag, Julian Eltinge is not well known anymore. At his height, he was one of the most famous and popular actors in America, performing to sellout crowds from Boston to Los Angeles.

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THE 1970’s was the golden age of gay bar guides, those little publications with pictures, personal ads, and, week after week, articles by local activists and commentators. Those articles, now mostly lost, helped form GLBT communities in towns all over America. Jack Nichols wrote hundreds of such pieces.

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LESLIE LARSON’S debut novel, Slipstream, captures with extraordinary vividness the ubiquitous anxieties of life in post-9/11 America.

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… This case sets the stage for Cristian Berco’s fine study of homosexual sodomy in Spain from the 1500’s to the 1700’s. Working from 500 Inquisition trial proceedings involving homosexual sodomy in Aragon, Spain, Berco situates these court cases within the complexities of the period’s social landscape.

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“I WANT to kill myself sometimes when I think I’m the only person in the world and the part of me that feels that way is trapped inside this body that only bumps into other bodies without ever connecting with the only person in the world trapped inside of them,” Johnny agonizes in Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune (1987). “We gotta connect. We just have to. Or we die.”

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SARAH SCHULMAN’S latest novel, The Child, is a complex story about people who are caught in the clutches of our society’s systems. The novel follows the lives of two characters, Eva and Stew, whose lives intersect briefly. The plot is advanced in vignettes. Multiple viewpoints, from secondary as well as primary characters, create a sense of ironic distance as the reader watches powerlessly while the characters are propelled headlong into disaster.

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