This Tuesday, The New York Review of Books celebrated its 50th anniversary at Town Hall with appearances from longtime, as well as recent, contributors Daniel Mendelsohn, Joan Didion, Darrly Pinckney, and Michael Chabon. While The Review has been criticized in some literary circles for publishing “unsurprising” political articles, many of the readings that took place Tuesday “struck deeply personal notes,” including Chabon’s recounting of writing his first novel and Pinckney’s description of his relationship to the work of James Baldwin. [The New York Times] (more…)
“I think debates over what makes a book great are largely among writers and people who teach literature. The rest of us I don’t think really care. I’d say we’re more interested in whether we connect with a book…”
A renowned stalwart in the publishing industry, Don Weise has over two decades worth of publishing experience, most of which has been dedicated to publishing LGBT literature. He’s served as Publisher of Alyson Books and was the Senior Editor at Carroll & Graf Publishers. Wiese also sits on the board of the Lambda Literary Foundation. In 2010, Wiese started his own LGBT publishing house, Magnus Books. Since its inception, Magnus has published books by an assortment of iconic authors, such as Samuel Delany, Urvashi Vaid, Keith Boykin, and Edmund White.
As the first month of the New Year winds down, there have been lots of exciting and noteworthy stories in the queer world. (more…)
“I learn things when people write intelligently about my books. That’s what you want as a writer, you want to be taken seriously and you want to be read intelligently. You can learn from an intelligent review—not necessarily a ‘positive’ review.”
Waiting for the Barbarians , the latest collection of essays by Daniel Mendelsohn, covers a broad swatch of the writer’s critical territory. Having established both his contemporary voice and classical eye over the past twenty years, Mendelsohn presents many of his recent thoughtful and brow-raising critiques in this single volume published by The New York Review Books—dissecting the nostalgia that vaulted Mad Men into the sphere of cultural phenomenon, chronicling the hubris that felled Julie Taymor’s tenure at the helm of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and sectioning these selections under the headings “Spectacles, ” “Classica,” “Creative Writing, ” and “Private Lives.” (more…)
“…gays only make up about 3% of the population so we spend our whole lives ‘translating’ straight movies, books, ballets into gay terms and studying the heterosexuals around us—we know much more about them than they know about us, just as blacks know a lot about whites but whites know virtually nothing about blacks.”
At a recent reading by Edmund White from his current novel Jack Holmes & His Friend (Bloomsbury) at Philadelphia’s Giovanni’s Room, the country’s oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, the audience leaned toward older gay men sprinkled with curious younger readers. A few days earlier the fiercely productive White had described the novel as “my most popular novel so far” when he talked with writer Frank Pizzoli about some general literary themes and some specific criticisms of his work. Pizzoli last interviewed White for LLR in March 2007.[i] White’s Sacred Monsters (Magnus Books), more than 20 essays collected in book form, was also recently released. Currently, he’s working on another manuscript about his years in Paris.
Often steeped in controversy, White remains unabridged. (more…)
This April, magazines and blogs across the web have been running poem specials to celebrate National Poetry Month. With only a couple days left, I thought I’d take stock and share some of my favorites so far: (more…)