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New month, new books! August is upon us, and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
This month, writer Richard House delves into the “ashes of war-torn Iraq, Italy and areas in between“ in the Man Booker Prize longlisted novel The Kills (Picador).
An astonishing landmark novel in four books, The Kills is both a political thriller and a bravura literary performance. This title includes The Kills: Sutler, The Massive, The Kill, The Hit. The Kills is an epic novel of crime and conspiracy told in four books. It begins with a man on the run and ends with a burned body. Moving across continents, characters and genres, there will be no more ambitious or exciting novel published this year.
In his new book Law and the Gay Rights Story: The Long Search for Equal Justice in a Divided Democracy (Rutgers University Press), author and lawyer Walter Frank maps the seminal court cases that have shifted the tide of gay rights in the United States.
From the publisher:
For much of the 20th century, American gays and lesbians lived in fear that public exposure of their sexualities might cause them to be fired, blackmailed, or even arrested. Today, they are enjoying an unprecedented number of legal rights and protections. Clearly, the tides have shifted for gays and lesbians, but what caused this enormous sea change?
In his gripping new book, Walter Frank offers an in-depth look at the court cases that were pivotal in establishing gay rights. But he also tells the story of those individuals who were willing to make waves by fighting for those rights, taking enormous personal risks at a time when the tide of public opinion was against them. Frank’s accessible style brings complex legal issues down to earth but, as a former litigator, never loses sight of the law’s human dimension and the context of the events occurring outside the courtroom.
In A View from a Bottom (Duke University Press), scholar and queer theorist Hoang Tan Nguyen examines western cultural portrayals of Asian and Asian-American men and how those portrayals relate to western ideas of effeminacy and sexual roles.
From the publisher:
A View from the Bottom offers a major critical reassessment of male effeminacy and its racialization in visual culture. Examining portrayals of Asian and Asian American men in Hollywood cinema, European art film, gay pornography, and experimental documentary, Nguyen Tan Hoang explores the cultural meanings that accrue to sexual positions. He shows how cultural fantasies around the position of the sexual “bottom” overdetermine and refract the meanings of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality in American culture in ways that both enable and constrain Asian masculinity. Challenging the association of bottoming with passivity and abjection, Nguyen suggests ways of thinking about the bottom position that afford agency and pleasure. A more capacious conception of bottomhood—as a sexual position, a social alliance, an affective bond, and an aesthetic form—has the potential to destabilize sexual, gender, and racial norms, suggesting an ethical mode of relation organized not around dominance and mastery but around the risk of vulnerability and shame. Thus reconceived, bottomhood as a critical category creates new possibilities for arousal, receptiveness, and recognition, and offers a new framework for analyzing sexual representations in cinema as well as understanding their relation to oppositional political projects.
This month, White Point Press is releasing Belle City by Penny Mickelbury, a novel detailing multi-generational familial strife and love.
About the book:
This interracial, intergenerational saga of love, land and loss is told from the disparate perspectives of Ruth Thatcher, who is Black, and Jonas Thatcher, who is White, and spans nearly a century. The story begins in 1917 when Ruth and Jonas are farm children and ends in 2005 as their descendants struggle to unravel and understand the legacies of this star-crossed pair. During the course of their two lifetimes, Ruth and Jonas– and their respective families– have evolved and ultimately have prospered, but it is left for their descendants to come to grips with the long-unacknowledged truth that the two families are actually one.
About the collection:
Most people outside Italy know Pier Paolo Pasolini for his films, many of which began as literary works—Arabian Nights, The Gospel According to Matthew, The Decameron, and The Canterbury Tales among them. What most people are not aware of is that he was primarily a poet, publishing nineteen books of poems during his lifetime, as well as a visual artist, novelist, playwright, and journalist. Half a dozen of these books have been excerpted and published in English over the years, but even if one were to read all of those, the wide range of poetic styles and subjects that occupied Pasolini during his lifetime would still elude the English-language reader.
For the first time, Anglophones will now be able to discover the many facets of this singular poet. Avoiding the tactics of the slim, idiosyncratic, and aesthetically or politically motivated volumes currently available in English, Stephen Sartarelli has chosen poems from every period of Pasolini’s poetic oeuvre. In doing so, he gives English-language readers a more complete picture of the poet, whose verse ranged from short lyrics to longer poems and extended sequences, and whose themes ran not only to the moral, spiritual, and social spheres but also to the aesthetic and sexual, for which he is most known in the United States today.
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.
|by Ryka Aoki|