Browsing: The Persistence of Malice

May – June, 2010

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Ashbery’s latest collection, Planisphere (2009), is dedicated to David Kermani, his partner of 35 years. They met in 1970, when Ashbery was 42 and Kermani was 23. The new book demonstrates that the poet is still hot to trot …

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THIS YEAR marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of William Pahlmann, an internationally acclaimed interior designer who beautified numerous public and private spaces and made a uniquely gay contribution to the U.S. war effort in World War II.

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FOR TWO DAYS in early March 2009, Ugandans flocked to the Kampala Triangle Hotel for the Family Life Network’s “Seminar on Exposing the Homosexuals’ Agenda.” The seminar’s very title revealed its claim: GLBT people and activists are engaged in a well thought-out plan to take over the world. The U.S. culture wars had come to Africa with a vengeance.

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Other than its girl-meets-girl twist, Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory has all the ingredients of an old-time Western: …

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MARK ROEDER of Bloomington, Indiana, is the author of the “Gay Youth Chronicles,” a series of interrelated stories about gay youth coming of age in rural America over the span of fifty years. He has authored a total of nineteen novels. While the narratives reflect the improvement in living conditions for gay youths realized as a result of the GLBT civil rights movement, homophobia appears throughout the series as the defining challenge that successive generations must confront in learning to accept themselves and find love.

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THERE’S A LOT that’s improbable in Owen Hill’s mystery novel, The Incredible Double. For starters, there’s the protagonist, Clay Blackburn, who makes his living buying and reselling used books in Berkeley, California, and moonlighting as an unlicensed private detective. Even with rent control, it seems like an untenable arrangement.

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For the last six years, Sheng has photographed high school and college athletes who are out of the closet, an ongoing project he has titled “Fearless.” The most widely seen exhibition of “Fearless” was at the corporate headquarters of ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. That show was covered in a feature on ABC World News. “Fearless” is usually displayed in school gyms, where athletes pass by it in droves.

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A Dangerous Liaison is a well-researched, thought-provoking biography. It reveals the complex, sometimes distressing human beings behind two of the most influential philosophers and writers of the 20th century.

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HISTORIAN JONATHAN NED KATZ first published his essay “The Invention of Heterosexuality” in 1990, which he later expanded into an award-winning 1995 book of the same title. The beauty of Katz’s approach was its inversion, so to speak, of popular constructionist arguments about homosexuality. Recall Michel Foucault’s famous declaration that the homosexual as a “species” was “born” in 1870.

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Reviews of Inseparable, The Paris Letters of Thomas Eakins, Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile: A Mystery, A Trace of Smoke, and Pacific Agony.

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