Sunday, May 22, 2016

"In the Empire of the Air"

Philip Clark's edition of Donald Britton's poems has just been published by Nightboat Books. Christopher Bram interviews him at Lambda Literary.

Main ®eading

I'm headed up to our camp next week at Beech Hill Pond in Maine. It's a great setting for reading classics. I'm going to delve into Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin." Any other suggestions?

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Firefly Loses Its Luster...

[Posted for our colleague Lee Levine]

Back in July 2014, Bookmen discussed Janette Jenkin's Firefly, a fictional account of Noel Coward's last years in Jamaica. The book didn't end especially happily, though the island setting dovetails with Our Caribbean, the Thomas Glave anthology we'll be starting this Wednesday. Sadly, if a column in the May 7 London Spectator is true, the real Firefly is suffering a sad fate as well. Says the usually sprightly Petronella Wyatt:

Coward's Jamaican home, Firefly, is almost derelict now. Weeds grow in the rooms and the walls are discolored with damp. Coward's piano is missing three keys. A dining room table is laid out with cracked crockery, as it was when Princess Margaret came for lunch. Coward died here a disappointed man. It was strange that he was only knighted four years before his death, given his propaganda and intelligence work during the second world war. The Queen Mother spoke of it to me once: "I loved 'The Master.' Winston liked him, too. It was Philip who was always against. He had a thing about the more flamboyant sort of queer."

Don't shoot the messenger!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Happy 17th Anniversary to Us, Fellow Bookmen!

The exact date of our group's first meeting seems lost in the mists of history, but it was in May 1999.  Tim Walton, our blogmaster extraordinaire, has diligently maintained the running list of the many, many books we've read over that period (thanks!), which you'll find at the bottom of the homepage.

Happy Anniversary to us!

To Be Young and Gay in Cuba...

I thought the full version of this piece, which appeared on the website of the Washington Post on May 6, was timely as we prepare to discuss the first set of selections in our new anthology, Our Caribbean .

(In case you're wondering, what ran in the print edition yesterday was essentially a teaser for the original article, which was published online as part of the Post 's "In Sight" department.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Gay in the Caribbean

Thought folks might be interested in a NYT editorial from last October which used Marlon James's winning of the Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings to talk about the dismal situation of living gay in the Caribbean.  —Giogio