Browsing: The Sotadic Zone

March – April, 2008

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IT’S TOO BAD that Kenny Fries new book isn’t longer. The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory is so lyrical, economically crafted, and engagingly peripatetic that one wants to keep traveling with its author even after he ends his meditation.

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FROM 1615 TO 1625, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham was the favorite and “sweet wife” of King James I. Villiers parlayed his homosexuality-not to mention his other talents, including a standout gift for horsemanship-into vast wealth and political power.

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… the aim of Media Queered: Visibility and its Discontents, a new collection of essays that explore the tensions and contradictions of queer people’s changing relationship to mass media and popular culture. …

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FROM THE START of The Dust of Wonderland, whose tone is established in the introduction’s stalking scene, this tale is nothing if not unsettling. The reader is made to feel the main character’s despair and horror, his frustration at not being able to solve a near homicide.

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… Male homosexuality-which traditionally in Cuba means sexually passive homosexuality-and cross-gender behavior are not only tolerated in santería but form an essential part of its mythology, philosophy, and practice. As paradoxical as it may sound, religion provides a unique space for homosexual identity and expression in a society with no official “gay scene” and with a history of machismo and state-induced homophobia. …

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EVAN FALLENBERG’S Light Fell is a slight, disarming novel about a gay man’s effort to reconcile with his five sons on his fiftieth birthday. Told episodically and in flashbacks, the story introduces Joseph Licht, a man who met and fell in love with Rabbi Yoel Rosenzweig and left his family to go live with his lover.

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… One “social misfit” group expelled from their country were gays and lesbians. Among them was the renowned novelist, short-story writer, poet and playwright Reinaldo Arenas (1943- 1990). …

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Reviews of the novels: The Sixth Form and At the Bottom of the Sky.

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