Browsing: The Mother Country

November – December, 2011

The Queer Art of Failure by Judith Halberstam
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FOR THOSE who are skeptical of a gay rights movement that aspires only to enable GLBT individuals to join the cultural mainstream, this book will seem as refreshing as water in a desert. Judith Halberstam looks at a variety of media to find ‘queer’ subtexts that undermine a mainstream conception of personal success as based on heterosexual marriage, childbearing, and the accumulation of property.

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Marketers of men’s underwear and swimwear added to the emerging trends of the sexualized male with new styles specifically designed for erotic exhibitionism. Prior to 1950, men’s swimwear always concealed the navel, even though rubberized Lastex yarns shaped and articulated the genital bulge below. In the early 1950’s, though, styles of men’s swimwear began to reveal more skin. Some inched below the navel, peek-a-boo cutaways bared the hips, and the male bikini made its first appearance on American beaches.

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Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America (Second Edition) by John-Manuel Andriote
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Reviews of Victory Deferred, Andy Warhol’s New York City, and Tiny Terror.

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Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato
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IF you don’t know the names of Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, you may have missed a lot of GLBT cinema over the past twenty years. For this exclusive interview I caught up with [Fenton] Bailey and [Randy] Barbato at World of Wonder in Hollywood.

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IT’S EASY TO FORGET that same-sex marriage bans did not start with California Proposition 8, nor did they originate with the rash of marriage bans across the country in 2004. They did not even start in 1998 in Hawaii and Alaska.

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The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon Edited by William R. Handley
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I CONFESS to having been somewhat surprised upon learning about another book on that doomed cowboy-on-cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain. But as editor William R. Handley shows in this new anthology about Jack and Ennis’ tortured, unrealized, lifelong love affair, there is still more to be said about the movie that elicited such a wide range of responses, so many of them extreme and at odds with one another, since the movie’s 2005 release.

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WAYNE KOESTENBAUM is the author of five books of poetry, one novel, and six books of nonfiction… His most recent book, Humiliation (2011), is part of the Picador Big Ideas//Small Books series…

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Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing Edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano
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Ambientes is a timely contribution at this point in history during which demographic shifts are literally changing the face of America. The stories in Ambientes provide a significant model for GLBT Latinos in the U.S.

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The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
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BY THE TIME you’ve read the fifth novel by any writer, you begin to see his work in a way you could not with the first, which is where we stand now with Alan Hollinghurst, whose new book people have been waiting for since his last, The Line of Beauty, won the Man Booker Prize in 2004. (The Stranger’s Child has also been nominated for the Booker.) Although Hollinghurst said, after winning the Booker, that his next book would be a collection of short stories, what The Stranger’s Child does, in nearly five hundred pages, is to confirm that he is a writer who revels in the long form.

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