Celebrated novelist Rabih Alameddine’s long-awaited new book An Unnecessary Woman, released last month by Grove Press, is a stunning character portrait, an astute snapshot of contemporary Beirut, and a lyrical testament to the power of literature. The novel maps the peculiar inner-life of a reclusive Lebanon-based bibliophile, Aaliya Saleh, while also “revealing Beirut’s beauties and horrors along the way. “ (more…)
Until last year, Rick Whitaker was best known as a memoirist and literary critic. His previous books, Assuming the Position: A Memoir of Hustling and The First Time I Met Frank O’Hara: Reading Gay American Writers, revealed the author’s penchant for considering his own life through the prism of literature, especially the output of queer writers such as O’Hara, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin and others. In his inventive new novel, An Honest Ghost (Jaded Ibis Press, 2013), he takes the notion of literary subjectivity a step further by constructing a narrative entirely out of sentences borrowed from other writers–queer and otherwise. John Ashbery named An Honest Ghost one of his “Books of the Year” for 2013 in the The Times Literary Supplement; it also made “must-read” lists in both Slate and Readers Digest. (more…)
THEM, a journal that debuted last year, has a bold but simple statement of purpose: “THEM is a literary journal of trans* writers.”
While the journal is dedicated to publishing tran* writers, what enlivens this literary endeavor is that the well-crafted work within does not conform to any one overreaching trans* thematic through-line, but instead showcases “writing that doesn’t appeal to ‘being trans*’ as if it were one, complete narrative.”
After 36 years, Armistead Maupin is finally bringing his seminal Tales of the City series to a close this month with the ninth and final (so he claims) installment. The Days of Anna Madrigal (HarperCollins) finds the beloved transgendered landlady of 28 Barbary Lane, now in her early 90s, heading back to her hometown of Winnemucca, Nevada to tidy up some loose ends. Along for the ride is Anna’s old tenant Brian Hawkins and his new wife (a familiar face to fans). Meanwhile, the rest of Anna’s “logical” family—including fan favorites Michael “Mouse” Tolliver and Mary Ann Singleton—also find themselves in Nevada, at the alkali flats of Burning Man, to be precise. What awaits them all in the desert is a fitting conclusion to the long-running, often madcap, but always poignant Tales.
Lambda spoke with Maupin about Anna, the future of queer activism, and the enduring legacy of San Francisco. (more…)
It may be intellectually challenging to grasp what exactly the ETLE Universe project proposes by “a queer/feminist cyborg-time-travel epic,” but thankfully I was able to chat with choreographer and Universe founder Sarah A.O. Rosner about its inception and agenda. Rosner, the prodigy behind the A.O. Movement Collective, which aims to create and promote the arts through sustainable business practices, launched the Universe this past November. In her opening address she explained that the project will produce ten thematically interwoven works, all in different media, from the literary (a graphic novel, a collection of academic essays, and a second of fiction), to the visual (a fashion show), to the aural (a concept soundtrack). There will even be an “interactive video game.” (more…)
Sean Strub is synonymous with a colorful mosaic of LGBT and HIV/AIDS benchmark events. His memoir, Body Counts: a Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival (Scribner), is a fascinating blend of iconic moments.
Yoko Ono, Warhol associates, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, New York City royalty and otherwise stodgy Philadelphia Biddles all enter the story. (more…)
Curious Wine had just been published. Forrest’s publisher, Barbara Grier, co-founder of Naiad Press and herself a literary icon, took me aside and said, “Katherine’s going to be one of our most important writers. You should know her and she should know you, since you’re both going to be famous.” (more…)
This past October, former Village Voice contributor and activist journalist Donna Minkowitz released her hot-blooded new memoir, Growing Up Golem (Magnus), about her struggle with the inhibitive physical condition RSI, her injurious family history, and the intimacy of abuse.
In an email exchange with the Lambda Literary award winner, Donna discussed the roles of fantasy, identity, and writing sex in Growing Up Golem. (more…)
This boom in self-publishing (according to Bowker’s latest figures, 391,000 books were self-published in 2012, a 59 percent jump from 2011) has launched a revolution in reading—and writing. The questions that arise when talking about self-publishing are about quality. Of course, for some titles, the “quality” is that of a first draft. But so what? Many writers have stopped talking about writing a book and now have actually written one. There’s tremendous value in sitting with a topic long enough to write an entire book about it, even if that value is to the writer alone. And with self-publishing, there can always be a second, fifth, or 23rd draft. (more…)
Best-selling gay romance writer T. J. (Travis John) Klune (Bear, Otter, and the Kid) recently popped the question to fellow popular romance author Eric Arvin (Woke Up in a Strange Place) at the 2013 GayRomLit conference (GRL) in Atlanta, Georgia. (more…)