I know this letter will reach you too late. Almost 20 years too late, since you died at the age of 26 in 1995. This is the first of your novels to be translated into English, and before reading it, I hadn’t known of your influence on the gay and lesbian culture in Taiwan and in the Chinese-speaking world at large. I wonder what you would have thought of the ascendency of the Internet and the instant globalization of art, literature, ideas. (more…)
“One doesn’t think of Burns as courageous or engaged–his great intellect and rather supercilious attitude had let him float above everything–but writing so explicitly about gays, and advocating for them, in 1947 was an act of enormous courage. “
A long-time contributing editor at Vanity Fair, David Margolick is also is the author of books on Joe Louis and a seminal song of the Civil Rights Movement, Strange Fruit. His most recent book, Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns (Other Press), is a biography of the largely forgotten John Horne Burns, whose novel The Gallery is considered one of the most important books to come out of World War II.
Margolick took some time to talk with the Lambda Literary Review about his interest in John Horne Burns, the challenges of writing about a person who was often disliked, and learning about twentieth century gay life. (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…)
& Books Not Found Anywhere Else
Compiling this list every month is bar none my most challenging duty. Gathering a list of LGBT books published every month isn’t as easy as it seems. Pub dates change. Genres evolve. Authors come out.
However, this is perhaps one of the most important jobs I get to do. Once a month I call attention to books that you can’t find on mainstream book sites.