University of Minnesota Press is reporting that José Esteban Muñoz, an author and academic in the fields of queer theory and cultural studies, has died. Muñoz died on Wednesday, December 4th in New York City. He was 46 years old. Cause of death has yet to be released.
Muñoz was a professor and former Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as the author and editor of several books that grappled with issues of race, gender, and sexuality including Cruising Utopia: The Politics and Performance of Queer Futurity and Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics.
World AIDS Day, held on December 1st of each year, is “an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.” (more…)
What’s wrong with a Turducken? Why am I so worked up? No reason. I’ve always wanted to be murdered and stuffed with two other birds. It’s the American dream. And to cap it off with a name like “Turducken,” you guys thought of everything. Hey, I’ve got an idea! How about next year we stuff you inside a silverback gorilla and jam a rhesus monkey down your throat? We’ll call it a “Gormankey.” Whatever, I’ll workshop it. You’re the ones who named everything anyway.
….And happy Thanksgiving from all the jive turkeys here at Lambda Literary.
Bret Easton Ellis and Kanye West’s Podcast, Eileen Myles on ‘Blue is the Warmest Color,’ and other LGBT Literary News
In the News
Author Bret Easton Ellis started podcasting this week and his first guest was cultural gadfly/pop-star Kanye West. (more…)
In October, Bruno Gmünder released a new edition of Christopher Coe’s beloved novel I Look Divine, with a new introduction from author David Leavitt. Initially published in 1987, the novel is a lyrical portrait of the joys and pitfalls of living a life obsessed with beauty and pleasure. (more…)
The theatrical run of Fun Home: The Musical has been extended to November 17th. Currently playing at the Public Theater in New York, NY, the musical is based on the beloved graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.
From four-time Tony Award-nominated composer Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and Tony-nominee Lisa Kron (In The Wake, Well) comes a fresh, daring new musical based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. Directed by Sam Gold, FUN HOME is a groundbreaking, world-premiere musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.
Click here for tickets.
With the casting of Christian Grey, for the upcoming film adaptation of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, in disarray, Vulture reached out to filmmaker and author John Waters to ask his opinion on who should be cast in the role: (more…)
Donna Minkowitz’s New Book, Examining the Masculine Ideal, Singing Pages from Morrissey’s Autobiography, and Other LGBT News
In the News
Lesbian love, familial relationships, and Jewish mysticism collide in a new book from author and rabble-rousing journalist Donna Minkowitz. Growing up Golem: How I Survived My Mother, Brooklyn and Some Really Bad Dates (Magnus) chronicles Minkowitz’s harried struggle to juggle her family, career, and personal life.
From the publisher:
The author’s mother told Minkowitz that she could do Jewish magic and, growing up, Minkowitz completely believed her. Her mother, an unusually domineering figure, exerted even more sway over Minkowitz than mothers typically do over their children, so it is the “magical realist” premise of the book that instead of giving birth to her, her mother actually created Minkowitz as her own personal golem, a little automaton made of clay.
In the book, Minkowitz struggles to control her own life as an adult, even as she publicly appears to be a radical, take-no-prisoners lesbian journalist. In her career, dating, and especially with her own eccentric family, Minkowitz finds herself compelled to do what other people want, to horrible and hilarious effect. In sex, for example, she often feels like “a giant robot dildo.”
Matters come to a head when a disabling arm injury renders her almost helpless (and permanently unable to use a computer). She must find a way to work, find people who love her, and stand up for her own desires—against the bossing she’s always tolerated from girlfriends, mother, and every other single person—before her injury gets even worse.
Watch the book trailer for the genre-bending memoir here.
Sing Your Life
Morrissey’s new autobiography, the astutely titled Autobiography (Penguin Classics), has been released in the UK this week. What better way to celebrate then to break out in slightly tongue-in-cheek song. Sing your life boys and girls! Sing your life! [Dangerous Minds]
The History of the Hunk
How did the ripped male form become a physical “ideal”? What is the history of physical masculinity? What was considered a “hot” body in London circa 1908? A new book seeks to provide some answers. Universal Hunks: A Pictoral History of Muscular Men Around the World, 1895-1975 maps the history of the hunk and examines cross-cultural ideas of male beauty.
The Atlantic reports:
In Hunks, authors David L. Chapman and Douglas Brown trace the origins of the sculpted, nearly nude, or totally bare male silhouette across the globe. Their journey begins in Europe with Anglo-German “physical culturalist” Eugen Sandow and ends in South America with a snapshot of Hercules Cement—not because the West is the fount of all masculine identity or idealization, but because it was a tremendous exporter of those concepts at the time. The “male body factored prominently in the construction of modern national identities,” write Chapman and Brown, and as the imperial powers of the day disseminated their own religious and sociopolitical standards, they also strove to shape the actual bodies of the people they encountered.
Still, the exchange (or replacement) isn’t so cut and dry.
In India, Sandow’s gospel of personal strength became interwoven with Indian nationalism and independence. In Senegal, where wrestling has its own tradition that predates European influence, the snapshots of warriors actually highlight the colonial interests of the photographers. And in the United States and beyond, models posing in men’s magazines celebrated physical health and wellness, but also doubled as pin-ups for consumers of gay subculture. All of these photos generate a syncretic view of buffness that reveals the ways in which muscled men are more than stereotypical gym rats; they can also be cultural ambassadors.
A Home Fit for a Bibliophile
If you are reading this blog post chances are you are a bookworm. So for all you book lovers out there looking for some interior design tips, Buzzfeed has some ideas how to make your house a home. [Buzzfeed]
Fear Can be Fun
Halloween is almost upon us, which means it is a perfect opportunity to take some time to scare yourself witless. There is something cathartic about getting through a really terrifying novel. Witnessing the worst and surviving it (in art anyway) has a way of inspiring an eerie sense of elation–exhilarating dread is what I like to call it. With that in mind, check of out Flavorwire‘s list of the 50 most terrifying novels. The authors and novels showcased on this list will surely have you sleeping with the lights on–I’m looking at you Clive Barker.
And in keeping with the Halloween spirit, Lethe Press has released some of their more popular queer horror titles as audio books. Check some of them out here and here and here. [Flavorwire] [Lethe Press]
In the News
Is lesbian sex “real sex”? If you have to ask you might want to read the new book You Can Tell Just By Looking and 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People (Beacon Press) by Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini, and Michael Amcio.
From the publisher:
In “You Can Tell Just by Looking”, three scholars and activists come together to unpack enduring, popular, and deeply held myths about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, culture, and life in America. Myths, such as “All Religions Condemn Homosexuality” and “Transgender People Are Mentally Ill,” have been used to justify discrimination and oppression of LGBT people. Others, such as “Homosexuals Are Born That Way,” have been embraced by LGBT communities and their allies. In discussing and dispelling these myths—including gay-positive ones—the authors challenge readers to question their own beliefs and to grapple with the complexities of what it means to be queer in the broadest social, political, and cultural sense.
Song and Dance Man
Do you like your murderous sociopaths served with a little song and dance? Then make way for the musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho, which debuts at London’s Alameida theater on December 3rd. Actor Matt Smith, of Doctor Who fame, will star as the Phil Collins loving, serial killer Patrick Bateman. Gay scribe Robert Aguirre-Sacasa is writing the book for the show and Duncan Sheik is providing the music. [Bleeding Cool News]
Need a new bookshelf? Need some book-based decorating ideas? Check out Flavorwire’s post on “Ingenious Bookshelves Made From Unusual Repurposed Items.” [Flavorwire]
Looking at Gender
In an essay published on The Advocate website this week, trans author and activist Julia Serano “decimates the often employed claim that ‘all gender is performance.’” Taken from her new book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive (Seal), the essay smartly examines the “oversimplification” of gender deconstruction. Read the complete essay here. [The Advocate]