Last week the PEN American Center announced the shortlists and judges for the 2013 PEN Literary Awards. In total, there are 16 awards being offered for outstanding literature in a wide range of genres, from science writing to translation, as well as a wide array of authors, including several LGBT favorites. Every award comes with a distinct cash prize, ranging from $2,000 all the way to $25,000. The winners and runners-up will be announced on October 21 at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.

An article on BuzzFeed LGBT takes a look at “24 Americans Who Changed The Way We Think About Transgender Rights.” On the list are women like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, co-founders of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group known for its protests and efforts to provide trans women on the streets with food and shelter, tennis player Renée Richards who sued the New York Supreme Court after being denied the right to play in the U.S. Open, and Lou Sullivan, who founded FTM International, the first female-to-male-only organization.

Another person who made an impact on LGBT community, Cory Monteith, one of the stars of the hit TV show Glee, was found dead in his hotel room in Canada this past Saturday. He was 31 years old. Since the beginning, Glee has made headlines for featuring gay characters and sending positive messages to gay teens. Though Monteith himself did not identify as gay, he was considered a great ally to the gay community. Sadly, it was discovered that Monteith died from a mixed overdose of alcohol and heroin, though it is reported that in an attempt to tackle his problems with addiction, he had admitted himself into a rehabilitation center a few short months ago.

This week it was also revealed that in an attempt to disguise herself, J.K. Rowling used a male pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, for her recent 450-page crime novel, Cuckoo’s Calling. Under the name of Galbraith, the book received positive reviews and sold about 1500 copies since it was published in April. Though Rowling told the press she had hoped to keep this secret under wraps a little longer, it was found out that she and “Galbraith” share the same editor. Rowling also told the press, “It has been pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation.”

In other book news, music critic Paolo Hewitt has put together a compilation of icon David Bowie’s career, which has spanned over 40 years and 27 albums. The book, called Bowie: Album by Album, will be available in August and catalogues every track Bowie ever recorded—in the studio, on stage, and even for soundtracks. In addition, the book includes some iconic photographs of the musician, as well as rare and behind the scenes photographs of Bowie at work and in outrageous outfits. All of this is replete with an assessment of Bowie’s music and its impact on popular music.


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One Response to “The 2013 Pen Literary Award Shortlists, David Bowie, and other LGBT News”

  1. Perry Brass 19 July 2013 at 12:19 PM #

    Julie has left out that STAR, Street Transvestites Action Revolution, began as a “cell” of the Gay Liberation Front which has been very much in the news lately as we celebrated a reunion on the day before the 2013 Gay Pride Parade. The Gay Liberation Front, the first queer organization to be formed after Stonewall, started what we now know as modern Gay Liberation, and everything that has come since, the entire lgbt movement, sprang directly from it.

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