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New Month! New books! March is upon us and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
Historian Martin Duberman’s new book, Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS, is being released this month by The New Press. The book serves as both a biography of two vital and beloved gay cultural figures, Michael Callen and Essex Hemphill, and as an astute snapshot of the early years of the AIDS epidemic.
From The New Press:
In December 1995, the FDA approved the release of protease inhibitors, the first effective treatment for AIDS. For countless people, the drug offered a reprieve from what had been a death sentence; for others, it was too late. In the United States alone, over 318,000 people had already died from AIDS-related complications–among them the singer Michael Callen and the poet Essex Hemphill.
Meticulously researched and evocatively told, Hold Tight Gently is the celebrated historian Martin Duberman’s poignant memorial to those lost to AIDS and to two of the great unsung heroes of the early years of the epidemic. Callen, a white gay Midwesterner who had moved to New York, became a leading figure in the movement to increase awareness of AIDS in the face of willful and homophobic denial under the Reagan administration; Hemphill, an African American gay man, contributed to the black gay and lesbian scene in Washington, D.C., with poetry of searing intensity and introspection.
The personal becomes political in a new memoir by writer Kelly Cogswell. In Eating Fire My Life as a Lesbian Avenger (University of Minnesota Press), Cosgwell recounts her years with the seminal queer activist group the Lesbian Avengers.
From the publisher:
At once streetwise and wistful, Eating Fire is a witty and urgent coming-of-age memoir as well as the first in-depth account of the influential Lesbian Avengers. A rare insider’s look at the process and perils of street activism, Kelly Cogswell’s story is an engaging blend of picaresque adventure, how-to activist handbook, and rigorous inquiry into questions of identity, resistance, and citizenship.
Artist A.K. Summers unpacks her “unique” first pregnancy in the new graphic memoir Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag (Soft Skull Press).
From the publisher:
First pregnancy can be a fraught, uncomfortable experience for any woman, but for resolutely butch lesbian Teek Thomasson, it is exceptionally challenging: Teek identifies as a masculine woman in a world bent on associating pregnancy with a cult of über-femininity. Teek wonders, “Can butches even get pregnant?”
Of course, as she and her pragmatic femme girlfriend Vee discover, they can. But what happens when they do? Written and illustrated by A.K. Summers, and based on her own pregnancy, Pregnant Butch strives to depict the increasingly common but still underrepresented experience of queer pregnancy with humor and complexity—from the question of whether suspenders count as legitimate maternity wear to the strains created by different views of pregnancy within a couple, and finally to a culturally critical and compassionate interrogation of gender in pregnancy.
Five fascinating tales linked by the sea. An aging architect must decide to give up his grief, even if it means losing the vestiges of a lover’s memory. An object of erotic fixation galvanizes men against the isolation of exile on a cruise liner. As he watches the disintegration of his picket-fence fantasy, an ex-soldier looks to the sea for absolution.
By turns urban and remote, the emotional landscapes navigated in this stunning debut collection offer a bold new meditation on love, loss, and isolation in our precarious present, and make visceral for us the duality of risk and salvation that attend our most passionate attachments.
This month, publisher and writer Christopher Stoddard is releasing three new titles through his new publishing outfit ITNA Press. “Founded in August 2013, ITNA PRESS is a Brooklyn-based company dedicated to publishing honest works of American literature deemed too provocative for the mainstream.”
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.