'Returning to Reims' by Didier Eribon

One of the most alarmingly overlooked issues facing lgbt politics is the impact of social and economic class divisions within the lgbt community. Today, as lgbt organizations increasingly promote the image of the upper middle class professional as the face of its campaign for rights, it is more important than ever that we understand the… read more

'How To Be Gay' by David M. Halperin

Contrary to what conservatives feared back in 2000 when he taught his first course at the University of Michigan titled “How to Be Gay”, David Halperin does not have a “Straight to Sissy in Five Easy Steps” method of indoctrinating youths into the gay lifestyle. How to Be Gay is not an instruction manual, nor is it a “learning to love yourself” self-help guide. Rather, Halperin’s book is an intervention against those who trumpet the “death of gay culture.”… read more

‘Opacity and the Closet: Queer Tactics in Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol’ By Nicholas De Villiers

“The Closet” is an increasingly ill-fitting metaphor for queer men and women who wish to explore their sexuality outside of the two opposite states of either being “out” and having to confess their personal life aloud or being “closeted” and thus presumed to be living in shame or self-denial. It is this binary of being in or out of the closet that Nicholas De Villiers deconstructs in Opacity and the Closet…… read more

'Cruel Optimism' by Lauren Berlant

Judged solely by its title, Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism (Duke University Press) could easily be dismissed by some as just another cynical work of cultural critique. Instead, Berlant strives to distance herself from “the ease with which intellectuals shit on people who hold to a dream.” It would be easy for Berlant to join the in tradition… read more

'The Deaths of the Author: Reading and Writing in Time' by Jane Gallop

In my most recent review here on Lambda Literary, I considered the late Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s posthumous book The Weather in Proust and mourned the loss of one of our greatest queer scholars. In hindsight, I wish I had come across Jane Gallop’s latest book The Deaths of the Author (Duke University Press) beforehand, because Gallop… read more

'The Weather in Proust' By Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

The Weather in Proust is a collection of nine essays, five of which were intended to become part of a book on Proust and an additional four that encompass Sedgwick’s three decades of queer scholarship…. read more

'The Inverted Gaze: Queering the French Literary Classics in America' By François Cusset

From the Marquis de Sade’s libertine sodomites to Jean Genet’s gay Parisian subculture of saintly Queens, the French literary canon has left an indelible mark on how we in America narrate and conceptualize same-sex desire. So, it may come as a surprise to some when François Cusset contends in The Inverted Gaze (Arsenal Pulp Press) that French literary criticism has largely ignored the queer possibilities of its own canon… … read more