Browsing: July-August 2008

July-August 2008

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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 own memory and from that of her children.

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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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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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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 in love and lives happily ever after.

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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 that started in Miami in June 1977 and continued into the spring of 1978, reaching to St. Paul, Minnesota, Wichita, Kansas, and Eugene, Oregon.

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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, a sexy female robo-sapiens …

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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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