'Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club' by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The seven stories in this simply but beautifully written, haunted and haunting collection are told from the point of view of male protagonists. Many are teenagers with artistic interests, or adult visual artists or writers, and it is difficult not to see these men as stand-ins for the author, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, an award-winning poet,… read more

'The Twelve Tribes of Hattie' by Ayana Mathis

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie does not feel like a debut novel. The quality of the writing, its quiet intensity, the certainty of the narrative voices speaks of a polish and talent that has been practicing for years…. read more

'Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance' edited by Rhoda Belleza

In the light of the recent revelation that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney may have bullied a fellow student in high school, something said by character in “The Shift Sticks,” Josh Berk’s story in this collection, gains unexpected relevance. When teenager Bryan Forbes says, “It wasn’t that bad, was it?” to Tiffany Sanz, a girl… read more

'Mogul: A Novel' by Terrance Dean

It’s a shame that summer is over, for Terrance Dean has written a textbook example of the fast-paced “summer novel” with Mogul (Atria Books). Drawing on his experience in the music business, already discussed in his 2008 non-fiction book Hiding In Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry from Music to Hollywood,… read more

'Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story of Queen' by Mark Blake

Writing the biography of a band must be a very difficult assignment. One has to give biographical information about each band member, cover tours and recording sessions, feuds and marriages, chart-topping successes and non-starters, and weed through gossip and scandal in search of the truth. And once the group disbands, the lives of its various… read more

Reginald Harris Remembers E. Lynn Harris

In the autograph line at a black librarian’s conference, I once asked E. Lynn Harris, “Who do you see as your audience?” Perhaps there was more than a touch of snark in my tone at the time. Although for many of us the first time we had encountered stories about black gay men was in the pages of one… read more