Monday, August 26, 2013

The Queen's Essays

One of the books we'll be discussing this winter (either January or February, most likely) is The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire by Wayne Koestenbaum (introduction by Tony Kushner). Those of you who don't want to wait that long may wish to whet your appetite by checking out the Aug. 23 edition of Salon, which features excerpts from Koestenbaum's new memoir, My 1980s & Other Essays. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ural Uganda

Timely is Laurie Essig's essay "Russia's theory: Gay can be cured" in last Sunday's Washington Post. I was surprised—but I suppose I shouldn't—at how deformative decades of Stalinism have been. Given the general obliviousness to the profound otherness of Mother Russia, her book Queer in Russia (1999) may be not dated at all, but still timely!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The State of the Gay Novel

Greetings, Fellow Bookmen--

Salon just posted a fascinating essay by Daniel D'Addario titled "Where's the Buzzed-About Gay Novel?" that paints a pretty bleak picture of prospects for a breakthrough in the genre. D'Addario cites various factors to explain this, but it basically comes down to the classic dichotomy: Critically acclaimed novels tend not to be popular, and vice versa—a phenomenon he postulates particularly afflicts non-mainstream literary genres.

Among the examples D'Addario cites is a 2011 novel I'd nominated for our last reading list: The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach.  Alas, only a couple of you voted for it, and I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't go ahead and read it for my own pleasure.  But I've just ordered it, and if it lives up to expectations, I may well renominate it.  (You have been warned!  :-) 

Cheers, Steve