Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS Smorgasbord of Words
by Tracy Baim, Windy City Times
2013-03-13

This article shared 4353 times since Wed Mar 13, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


E-books may be the hot trend, but I still get piles of books each month eager to be opened and reviewed. I can't possibly keep up, but what follows are some highlights from the in-box.

Please support independent bookstores by purchasing your books through them. Stores we recommend include Women & Children First, Unabridged Books, The Book Cellar, After Words, the Book Table, 57th Street Books, Quimby's and Powell's.

Non-Fiction

A wonderful new addition to the stack of regional gay history books comes from Minnesota. Land of 10,000 Loves: A History of Queer Minnesota, by Stuart Van Cleve (University of Minnesota Press), provides a sampling of a wide range of LGBTQ history. Too often our history is focused on the coasts, and this book shows the deep and incredible activism and culture from this Midwest state. There are more than 120 essays, each of them very brief (in some cases too brief based on their importance), providing a road map for those who want to learn more. There are also more than 130 illustrations. Van Cleve mined the archives of the Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota to produce the book, and Minnesota is fortunate to have such passionate historians working to preserve our history. Van Cleve is a former assistant curator at the collection, which gave him a unique insider's view to this treasure trove. Highly recommended.

The Gay Agenda is a guidebook to the modern LGBT movement, written by eQualityGiving.com co-founder Juan Ahonen-Jover ( www.GayAgenda2012.com ). It provides a basic understanding of what LGBT even means, and then works through a series of "agenda" items on the movement's to-do list. Youth, gender, marriage, military service, and the varied paths to equality are all discussed. It also gives tips on how readers can turn interest into activism. It came out prior to the 2012 elections, so some of it is now not relevant, but the concepts certainly are. There's a fun list of prominent LGBTs (and any list of course is going to have its limits), and it includes a copy of The Dallas Principles, a 2009 document created to push for full LGBT equality—now.

Remember the "gay panic' defense used in murder cases? An important new book about masculinity and homosexuality is now available from David McConnell and Akashic Books. American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men investigates several killers who "resorted to murder when their masculinity felt threatened. Each instance in this book is a crime against a gay man (or someone perceived to be gay), but these attacks could have just as easily been against a black man, a woman, or a Jewish temple—the hate these men carry within them is not exclusive to any one type," according to advance materials for the book. Among the murderers studied: Jon Schmitz (from The Jenny Jones Show case); gay porn star Darrell Madden who turned into a neo-Nazi and killed a gay man; and the Williams Brothers. I would have liked photos and images in the book, and also an exploration of even more cases, but it is an important contribution to the discussion of the roots of violence. A great companion on this subject is Arthur Dong's Licensed to Kill (DeepFocus Productions), a 1997 documentary that interviews the killers of gay men—many who turn out to be gay themselves.

On a similar topic of masculinity, Professor Mark Anthony Neal of Duke University has written Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities, coming out this May from NYU Press. Neal investigates "the complex ways in which black masculinity has been read and misread through contemporary American popular culture." The common view of black male bodies as simply criminal "bring welcome relief to white America, providing easily identifiable images of black men in an era defined by shifts in racial, sexual, and gendered identities." One chapter that is particularly fascinating: "Fear of a Queer Soul Man: The Legacy of Luther Vandross." He speaks about the difficulty Vandross had acknowledging his sexuality, and mentions the same problem facing other black male singers. One incident I didn't remember hearing about was the 1982 car crash involving singer Teddy Pendergrass and a transsexual passenger, Tenika Watson. The accident left Pendergrass paralyzed (Watson had minor injuries), and raised questions about the singer's sexuality. This is an important new book for gay and straight alike.

American Hipster: The Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement, by Hilary Holladay, is now out from Magnus Books. The promo says the book "tells the tale of a New York sex worker and heroin addict whose unrepentant deviance caught the imagination of Jack Kerouac (On the Road), Allen Ginsberg (Howl) and William S. Burroughs (Junky) and inspired some of their most famous writings." The book also looks at Huncke's youth in Chicago, his work with sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, and details his longtime partnership with Louis Cartwright, whose 1994 murder is still unsolved.

Hustling is also one of the themes in Touching Encounters: Sex, Work, & Male-for-Male Internet Escorting, by Kevin Walby (University of Chicago Press). The book examines "how masculinity and sexuality shape male commercial sex in this era of Internet communications." Walby, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Victoria, even draws on Michel Foucault in discussions about power and commercialized sexuality. The author interviewed male sex workers, and also discussed the "feigning of intimacy." A surprising academic approach to what can be a decidedly unacademic pursuit, and interesting even for those who have never paid for sex.

Melanie Hoffer writes a passionate memoir about her life growing up on a farm in North Dakota, Prairie Silence (Beacon Press). After college she moved to Minneapolis to be free to live an out gay life. She returned for a visit at harvest time, but felt like an outsider, even though she longed for home. This is a personal memoir that also deals with the loss of a way of life, as these prairie towns are becoming deserted: "The towns are like crawfish that have died, leaving their beautiful exoskeletons behind." This is a book tens of thousands of LGBTs can relate to, those who migrated to the big cities over the past decades, hiding in the anonymity of Chicago, Minneapolis and Madison, but sometimes longing for the silence of the prairie.

The LGBTQ community is not immune to the problems that face everyone as we age, or as our relatives age. Many don't have children, so it's even more important to stay as healthy as possible as long as possible, with no next generation to help with care (and even with kids, there is no guarantee!). The Alzheimer's Prevention Program by Dr. Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan (Workman Publishing) gives you basic some short- and long-term tips to keeping your brain active and healthy. The book has been updated with new research, and it also has a 7-day jump-start program. It includes food recommendations and cross-training ideas.

Former Chicago Tribune reporter Kenan Heise writes about an under-represented political group in The Book of the Poor: Who They Are, What They Say and How to End Their Poverty (Marion Street Press). He investigates areas across the country, including Chicago, and takes a journalists-eye-view of the problems, and solutions, for this complex issue.

Speaking of community, Richard Sennett explores one in Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation (Yale University Press). It addresses "why people and parties find it so difficult to cooperate." Given the state of Congress and the White House, this is a very timely discussion. It is not a gay book, but does address how people can cooperate across differences.

Fiction

Paulette Mahurin uses the trials of Oscar Wilde in 1895 as a backdrop for a Patience & Sarah-like tale of the Old West in The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Blue Palm Press), a fun imagining of life for lesbians on the range. As the promo for the book noted: "The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde's imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing." I enjoyed the connections between closeted lesbians in Nevada and Wilde's own trials, and Mahurin does a nice job of creating these characters just from the inspiration of photograph.

Perry Glass, a longtime gay journalist, is also an award-winning author (How to Survive Your Own Gay Life). His King of Angels (Belhue Press) is a novel about the "genesis of identity and belief." This is a Southern coming-out and coming-of-age story set in the 1960s. The central character is 12-year-old Benjamin Rothbery, growing up in Isle of Hope, Ga., the son of a Southern-WASP mom and New York Jewish dad. He attends the Holy Nativity Military Academy and finds out soon about a sexual underground—including pedophile monks. Read on as he journeys to self-discovery during a tumultuous decade.

Hillary Sloin's debut novel, Art on Fire, from Bywater Books, is a "pseudo-biography" of artist Francesca deSilva. Don't be fooled, this is a satire, an imagined life by a creative writer, one who aims her sharpened pen (keyboard?) at art world pretentiousness.

Shades of Gray is Kathy A. Kron's sequel to Don't Tell (both from Lethe Press), and both are based on lesbians in the military and how they juggle love and work. Kron bases her writing on her experience in the military. This is a novel set in a training unit that also works in the virtual world.

The Lava in My Bones by Barry Webster (Arsenal Pulp Press) is described as a "magic-realist novel. … [Webster] combines elements of fairy tales, horror movies, and romances to create a queer, boundary-breaking celebration of excess and sexuality." Get ready for an escape into a new world of a geologist who eats rocks and wants to have his first same-sex relationship, and other fully imagined characters.

Children's Books

When Loves Comes to Town, by Tom Lennon, was first published in Ireland in 1993, but now it is available for the first time in the U.S., from Albert Whitman & Co., a children's book publisher in Chicago. Lennon was a pseudonym for an Irish writer who died in 2002. The new edition includes a forward by James Klise, a high school librarian in Chicago. The book is set in 1990 Dublin, where we meet Neil Byrne, a rugby player who is struggling to keep his sexuality secret. Many years after the book first came out, Gareth Thomas became the first openly gay rugby player in Europe's pro leagues. Thomas came out in 2009, and he is now retired.

Former Chicago Tribune reporter Jean Latz Griffin, who for a few years covered the gay beat for the paper, has a children's book out, with illustrations by Jane Gaunt. One Spirit: A Creation Story for the 21st Century, is a gay-inclusive, racially and species diverse look at spirituality. A nice addition to your children's library, by CyberINK in Arlington Heights, Ill. There is also a DVD and cards. See www.cyberinkonline.com .


This article shared 4353 times since Wed Mar 13, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

BOOKS Lesbian author Amanda Kabak to release hate-crime novel July 20 2021-05-15
- Lesbian author Amanda Kabak—a Chicago native who now resides in Lakeland, Florida—is releasing the novel Upended on July 20. In Upended, Maddie, a driven entrepreneur, finds her world thrown into disarray when she survives a hate ...


Gay News

'An Evening with Fran Lebowitz' in April 2022 in NYC 2021-05-12
- Legendary author, journalist and social observer Fran Lebowitz is slated to return to The Town Hall stage in New York City for two live, in conversation events on April 6-7, 2022. Lebowitz is coming off her ...


Gay News

Stephanie Battaglino, New York Life's first transgender officer, releases memoir 2021-05-11
--From a press release - May 11, 2021… Educator and motivational speaker Stephanie Battaglino today officially released her memoir, Reflections from Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America, from L'Oste Vineyard Press. After many years ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart holding large book sale/exhibit viewing June 6 2021-05-10
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., is holding a one-day book sale is returning on Sunday, June 6, 12-4 p.m., in the library reading room. Extra tables will be set up to significantly increase ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Military bill, LGBTQ teen, trans deaths, Pride items, children's book 2021-05-09
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that directs the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs in the Garden State to assist former Armed Forces service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to ...


Gay News

Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world 2021-05-05
- Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...


Gay News

BOOKS Lambda Literary Awards to take place June 1 2021-05-03
- The 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards—which celebrates LGBTQ+ books and authors—will take place Tuesday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. Typically held in person in New York City, this year's Lammys will be presented virtually for the first ...


Gay News

1971: The Chicago Daughters of Bilitis 2021-05-03
Excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life - An excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life, a new book by St Sukie de la Croix. You can buy the book from Amazon.com, all good bookstores, and for a signed copy, rattlinggoodyarns.com ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Master of None,' children's book, Kristen Stewart, expectant couple 2021-05-02
- Master of None is coming back—but this time, the series will focus on Lena Waithe's character, Denise, out.com noted. Master of None, created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang for Netflix, starred Ansari for the first ...


Gay News

1970: The Police Murder of James Clay 2021-04-26
Excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life - " … One month after Finnie's Ball, a Chicago Defender headline read, 'Female Impersonator killed by cop in W. Side street brawl.' The Chicago Sun-Times headline read, 'Man slain fleeing police in bizarre W. Side clash.' ...


Gay News

'Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories' virtual talk on May 16 2021-04-22
- On Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m. CT, Women and Children First will host the virtual panel discussion "Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories" on its Crowdcast Channel. Centering on the release of Diana Souhami's new book No Modernism ...


Gay News

Joan E. Biren aka JEB talks Portraits of Lesbians book journey and re-issue 2021-04-21
- In an era where lesbian visibility was almost non-existent, activist and photographer Joan E. Biren (or as she is also known, "JEB") self-financed and self-published a photography book called Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians. Biren's ...


Gay News

Bechdel, Rannells among upcoming CHF guests 2021-04-21
- The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced its line-up of virtual programs with award-winning writers, scholars and cultural icons in late April and throughout May. Among LGBTQ participants/guests will be Fun ...


Gay News

BOOKS Chicago After Stonewall available May 11 2021-04-19
- Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life—a detailed account of how LGBTQ's in Carl Sandburg's "City of the Big Shoulders" responded to the Stonewall Riots—will be available May 11. This book pulls together jigsaw pieces ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock 2021-04-18
- Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.