July 29, 2014

Judith Frank: On Mourning, Taking on Volatile Subject Matter, and Queer Relationships

Posted on July 22, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

All I Love and Know (William Morrow), by Judith Frank, is a brilliant, thoughtful, unexpectedly funny new novel about a gay couple, Daniel Rosen and Matt Greene, who live in Northampton, MA. It opens with a café bombing in Jerusalem that kills Daniel’s twin brother Joel and Joel’s wife Ilana. When it is revealed that Joel and Ilana designated Daniel the guardian of their two small children should they die, a firestorm erupts in both Daniel’s and Ilana’s families about the possibility that the children will be taken out of Israel and raised by gay men. The novel explores what happens to Daniel and Matt’s relationship in the wake of this conflict and this trauma. It is also page-turner that keeps the reader deep in the story until the very last page. And thinking about it afterwards for days. (more…)

Lorrie Sprecher: On Being—and Writing—a Lesbian Punk Feminist

Posted on July 13, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

Lorrie Sprecher’s fiction stars women whose lives are propelled by a passion for activist culture and an almost painful compassion for the disenfranchised of the world. For Amanda, the protagonist of new novel Pissing in a River (The Feminist Press), a love of punk rock and distaste for U.S. foreign policy drives her to take shelter in England. There, she finds her way toward friendship and romance while forming a band, keeping tabs on her lifelong obsessive-compulsive disorder, and dealing with fallout from the rape of her partner, Melissa.

Amanda is funny and, when it comes to standing up for her beliefs, not afraid to be intense—qualities shared by her author. Sprecher took the time to talk via email about her new book, the next two she has planned (one a sequel), and her thoughts on being an American at a time when advances in gay rights coexist with dramatic steps backward in reproductive rights and national policy. (more…)

Stacey D’Erasmo: On Music, Writing Straight Characters, and Creating a Literary Legacy

Posted on July 6, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

Stacey D’Erasmo is not musically inclined—at all. Yet, that didn’t stop the Lambda Literary Award and Ferro Grumley Award-winning author from writing a striking, harmonious novel about music that will resonate with anyone who has ever picked up an instrument—or admired someone else holding one.

Wonderland (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) tells the story of Anna Brundage, a statuesque and fiery forty-four-year-old down-and-out indie rock star who has given up everything for a second chance to do what she loves—and the love affairs that she stumbles through on her way.

D’Erasmo was kind enough to sit down for a jam session via email, in which we covered her own musical abilities, making your mark on the literary world, art versus relationships and what songs are currently stuck in her head. (more…)

A Look at the Frank O’Hara Fire Island Pines Poetry Festival

Posted on July 4, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

“Before there was the Internet, there was Frank O’Hara. We’re just as a culture finally catching up to his manic speed and endlessly divisible attention span”

Since his death in 1966, the poet Frank O’Hara has taken on an iconic stature among admirers of poetry. To honor the work of the beloved poet, The Fire Island Pines Fine Arts Project is presenting the Frank O’Hara Fire Island Pines Poetry Festival, on Saturday, July 12th, at 4 PM. The event will include such noted writers as Eileen Myles, Edmund White, Ariana Reines, Dorothea Lasky, and Saeed Jones. (more…)

Michael Carroll: On His New Short Story Collection, the Benefits of a Spare Writing Style, and His Literary Inspirations

Posted on July 2, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

In Little Reef and Other Stories (University of Wisconsin Press), his first collection of short stories, Michael Carroll, 49, employs an economy of words that describe characters deeply drawn. We’ve known people like them. These are contemporary characters “who are stuck in a quagmire of ennui.” (more…)

Renee James: On Writing a Trans Crime Novel

Posted on June 30, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

Your novel has been self-published. It’s already won several indie awards. You tread new ground as a transgender author writing an authentic transgender heroine—one appreciative readers have both struggled with and adored. Your work is done now…right? (more…)

John Waters : On Being Boring, Porno Walmarts, and Hitchhiking Across America

Posted on June 15, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

In his new book Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), John Waters details his experience hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco while offering up delirious, wildly exaggerated best and worst case scenarios of what could have happened.

Here we discuss his career in writing and film, gay bookstores, a porno Walmart, and some of the people he met along his journey, including a 20-year-old guy dubbed “The Corvette Kid.” (more…)

Marga Gomez: On Perseverance, Storytelling, and Writing Her New Show, ‘Lovebirds’

Posted on June 9, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

Performer Marga Gomez has been making queer comedy for over 30 years. As one of the first out queer comedians in the nation, she’s created nine one-person (although often many character) shows, toured nationally and won the GLAAD Media Award for Off-Broadway Theater, Theater LA’s Ovation Award for “Best Featured Actress” and New York’s Hola Award for “Best Solo Performance.” As a performer, most of the shows she has created have been in some sense autobiographical. She’s now touring Lovebirds, in which she wrote and portrays six gay and straight romantically challenged characters, including an hallucinating photographer, an old school butch, a sleepy professor, and a wife thief.

Gomez recently sat down with Lambda Literary and answered questions about her writing and creative process. (more…)

Adam Tendler: On Modern Music, the Advantages of Self-Publishing, and Coming Out on the Page

Posted on June 8, 2014 by in Interviews

In 88X50: A Memoir of Sexual Discovery, Modern Music, and the United States of America (Dissonant States Press, 2013), acclaimed pianist Adam Tendler recounts the nine months he spent performing an ambitious program of modern music in some of America’s more out of the way locales. Part travelogue, part coming out story, the book is an unsentimental and at times harrowing self-portrait of an artist in the act of self-becoming. Tendler also uses the book as an opportunity to rethink the very nature of memoir with web links to photographs, performance clips and journal entries that draw the reader even deeper into the experience of the America 88X50 tour. (more…)

Michelle Theall: On God, Faith, and the Complications of Writing About Family

Posted on June 1, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

Michelle Theall’s memoir, Teaching the Cat to Sit (out now from Gallery Books), weaves together two narratives—her story of growing up gay and Catholic in the Texas Bible Belt and her recent struggle to baptize her son in her local Catholic church—in a poignant, honest exploration of God, acceptance, and the power of family. (more…)