Browsing: July-August 2010

July-August 2010

Blog Posts

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WHAT’S WITH THE “GOOD” in the subtitle of your book? people ask me. Couldn’t you get the “best” writing? or (tongue in cheek) is it writing by “good lesbians”? The subtitle of Something to Declare echoes that of an earlier anthology, Wonderlands: Good Gay Travel Writing.

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“PARIS IS WHERE the 20th century was,” declared that eccentric raconteur and occasional aphorist, Gertrude Stein. Writers like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein herself, artists like Picasso, Dalí, and…More

The Golden Age of Gay Fiction Edited by Drewey Wayne Gunn
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ASSUMPTIONS about what gay life and culture were like before Stonewall—that it was an era of all-consuming repression, secrecy, and shame—might lead one to conclude that depictions of gay people in film and literature were non-existent or, if they did surface, heavily coded. Many film historians have examined the movies of this period, but the history of gay literature, which arguably provides perhaps an even richer history, has not been explored as thoroughly. Of course, one must be willing to allow for a more expansive and inclusive definition of what constitutes “literature.”

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Socrates and Jesus: The Argument That Shaped Western Civilization by Michael E. Hattersley
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THIS EXTENDED ESSAY explores the competing visions of Socrates and Jesus, demonstrating how their debate, continued by their philosophical ancestors over two millennia, helped shape Western culture into the uniquely argumentative, individualistic force it would become by the time of the Enlightenment.

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The Summer We Fell Apart: A Novel by Robin Antalek
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What makes The Summer We Fell Apart a beautiful novel is its stellar characters-and the shimmering scenes it evokes to draw you into their lives as a participant. You find yourself really caring about the four Haas siblings, now that you understand how they became the dysfunctional adults that they are today, and you hope they’ll make it as they struggle through their lives.

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BETWEEN THE SUMMERS of 2007 and 2009, I traveled the country interviewing a diverse group of prominent, interesting, and accomplished gay Americans. Out of those interviews—102 in all—came a book, Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans, which was published this spring by the University of Wisconsin Press. Throughout the project, diversity was my guiding principle.

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Cotton's Queer Relations: Same-Sex Intimacy and the Literature of the Southern Plantation, 1936-1968 by Michael P. Bibler
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WITH THIS BOOK, Michael P. Bibler proposes to show that several works of 20th-century American fiction set on what he calls the Southern “meta-plantation” use same-sex relationships to undermine “the vertical system of paternalistic and patriarchal hierarchies that constitutes the core social structure of every individual plantation.”

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I’M ON A SHIP, a small one built for the rigors of icy seas, not for transporting people comfortably, and so as it rocks and rolls, dips and surges, so does my stomach. We’re riding 25-foot waves, and explosions of salt water are smashing against the small porthole of my cabin. Eventually we get to our destination, where I’m unloaded with the rest of the cargo and a few other people. Here I am, at a station in Antarctica where I’ll be living for a couple of months with a group of scientists and their support staffs.

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Homophobias: Lust and Loathing across Time and Space by David A. B. Murray
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IN THIS TWO-PART COLLECTION of nine essays, editor David A. B. Murray successfully illuminates what one contributor, Don Kulick, refers to as “the history of homophobic values,” exposing how the universality of homophobia manifests and disseminates itself in heterosexist systems and becomes institutionalized. Each contributor offers a unique take on how anti-gay rhetoric and images of hegemonic privilege develop through a myriad of political, economic, and linguistic instrumentalities.

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