Browsing: Summer Reading

July – August, 2012

Brainard - Wren de Antonio - ca1970
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JOE BRAINARD (1942-1994) is a name that doesn’t appear in comprehensive reference books on gay American writers and artists, though his accomplishments included drawing, poetry, prose, theatre design, and more. The omission makes this beautifully realized compilation of Brainard’s writings an essential work for anyone interested in mid-century gay life and culture. …

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THE POLITICAL WORLD was rocked on May 10 by the revelation that the eighteen-year-old Mitt Romney and his ‘posse’ attacked Cranbrook schoolmate John Lauber, whose long, bleach-blond hair, worn after the fashion of Veronica Lake, sparked ire in the future politician. With appalling force, a group that included the school’s wrestling champion pounced ‘like a pack of dogs’ on an effeminate boy, whose distress manifested itself in loud screams, and forcibly cut his hair. …

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… Among the many theories and interpretations that have been applied to Shakespeare’s admittedly enigmatic and multi-layered plays and poems, relatively few have delved into the subject of homosexuality …

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Reviews of Native Moments, Carl Van Vechten & The Harlem Renaissance: 
A Portrait In Black & White, and Transforming Japan: How Feminism 
and Cultural Diversity Are Making a Difference.

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CHRISTOPHER BRAM is well known for his novels, especially the one that became the acclaimed film Gods and Monsters (originally published in 1995 as Father of Frankenstein). His new book, Eminent Outlaws, is a history of gay literature in the U.S. beginning soon after World War II with Gore Vidal and The City and the Pillar (1948). … This interview with Christopher Bram was conducted by telephone last February.

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ABOUT TWENTY PAGES into Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? you realize that this isn’t a memoir so much as a suspense story, the question being, “Is Bechdel going to be able to pull this off?”

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Henry Van Dyke
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HENRY VAN DYKE (né Henry L. Van Dyke, Jr., 1928-2011), novelist, editor, teacher, musician, and connoisseur of art and life, died on Dec. 22, 2011, of heart failure, at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home he had recently moved into when he felt he was failing and nearing the end. …

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[R]esearch on the determinants of sexual orientation-or even gay-associated biological traits such as finger length, fingerprint patterns, inner ear clicks, etc.-have attracted tremendous press. …

In Backdrop: The Politics and Personalities Behind Sexual Orientation Research, Gayle Pittman, a Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at Sacramento City College, [explores] how these researchers’ personal backgrounds have influenced their work.

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Sarah Schulman’s latest book, The Gentrification of the Mind, is in large part a set of provocative arguments about what gets preserved and promoted in American culture and why. …

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