Browsing: The Mother Country

November – December, 2011

Blog Posts

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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Writing the Love of Boys: Origins of Bishonen Culture in Modernist Japanese Literature by Jeffrey Angles
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IN THIS relatively short study, Jeffrey Angles explores the theme of love between men and boys in the literature of Japan’s modernist period, concentrating on three writers from this period: the poet, short story writer, and painter Murayama Kaita (1896-1919); the detective novelist and essayist Edogawa Ranpo (1894-1963); and the avant-garde prose writer Inagaki Taruho (1900-1977).

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Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare (Series Q) Edited by Madhavi Menon
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THIS FASCINATING COLLECtion of essays explores the queer elements within all of Shakespeare’s works. With contributions from scholars of both queer studies and Shakespeare, the volume represents a joining of the two fields rarely attempted before.

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K.D. Lang
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SHE DAZZLED just about everyone when she performed live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Now fifty, Alberta native k.d. lang still has what it takes to bring an audience to its feet. There’s no denying the power of that voice and lang’s unrivaled range.

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Decadence Mandchoue: The China Memoirs of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse Edited by Derek Sandhaus
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SIR EDMUND BACKHOUSE (1873-1944) has long been considered one of the prime homosexual self-fantasists of the last century-as delusional and self-created as “Baron Corvo,” the pederastic social climber who appointed his fictionalized self as Pope in the novel Hadrian the Seventh (1904) and inspired A. J. A. Symons’s classic sleuth biography The Quest for Corvo (1934).

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Change comes when we ask hard questions of our elected and appointed officials-school boards, superintendents, and others-about policies and programs to address bullying in schools, and when we push for better anti-bullying legislation and demand a commitment to GLBT youth empowerment among public servants. Above all, change comes when we take the time to listen to young people and empower them to create messages of survival for each other.

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He Kills Me
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A TWENTY-YEAR retrospective of Donald Moffett’s work titled The Extravagant Vein has been mounted by the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, where it will remain on view until January 8, 2012. After that, the exhibit will travel to the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery of Skidmore College in Sara-toga Springs, New York, and then (next June) to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Accompanying the exhibit is a handsome, full-color catalog, published by the Houston museum and Skira/Rizzoli, which includes essays by Bill Arning and Russell Ferguson, an interview with Douglas Crimp, and an overview by exhibit curator Valerie Cassel Oliver.

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Stein and Toklas
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FEW AUTHORS have been more intent on making a reputation for themselves than Gertrude Stein. The fact that her name is known today by many people who have never read a word she wrote testifies to the success-but also somewhat to the failure-of her endeavor. As depicted most recently by Kathy Bates in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which examined the continuing American fascination with an image of Paris in the 1920’s that Stein did a great deal to create, Stein is better known for the artistic careers she fostered than for her own creative output.

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GENNADY TRIFONOV, a gay Russian poet and writer, died in March 2011 at age 65. I came to know him after he was released from a four-year term in a Siberian prison where he had been incarcerated for being openly gay, …

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