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Author Archive | Andrew Holleran

The Unreliable Tenderness of the World

The irony that lies behind a fascinating new collection of the two men’s letters, The Luck of Friendship (expertly edited by Peggy L. Fox and Thomas Keith), is our knowledge that Williams wanted both commercial and literary success.

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On Beauty

  IT’S JUST PAST NOON on an April Sunday in Washington, D.C. A friend and I are waiting for a third friend to join us for a bicycle ride along the C&O Canal, just where the towpath begins in Georgetown. In front of us are the remains of an aqueduct that used to carry a […]

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The Etymology of Lads

Like The Invention of Love, Housman’s Country is a love letter to a vanished time. What the poet cries out for in his final speech in Stoppard’s play is “Oxford in the Golden Age!”

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If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Huehuetenango

The Black Penguin is a thrilling book not only because Evans survives a bus trip to the bottom of South America but also because the Mormon Church disapproves of his homosexuality—a story that forms, in alternating chapters, a tale as harrowing as his journey to Antarctica.

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‘I’ll Go Forth Alone’

Sweet Bird of Youth, however, is how sexual it is. … Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Sweet Bird of Youth to even a one-act like “At Liberty”—though in a play that I see two nights later, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, that life force is nearly spent.

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Starstruck

  Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne: A Life in Several Acts by Robert Hofler Wisconsin. 352 pages, $26.95   IT WOULD BE HARD to imagine a gayer life than the one led by Dominick Dunne. Growing up in Hartford (across the street from Katherine Hepburn), he was not only called a “sissy” by his father […]

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Seasons in Hell

DAVID FRANCE’S HISTORY of AIDS opens with a memorial service for Spencer Cox, an ACT UP activist, to whom we come back in the epilogue. In between are approximately thirteen years of Hell. Although How to Survive a Plague pretty much follows the plot of the documentary film he released four years ago with the same title, the difference between the two is enormous. When the film came out, this reviewer wondered if a book would not give us more nuance, more insight into what people were really thinking in those ACT UP meetings we saw on screen. Well, here is the answer to that wish.

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And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens

Nevertheless, Ibell tries hard to rescue the plays that the critics serially panned after his last commercial hit, The Night of the Iguana. Plays like And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens, Steps Must Be Gentle, and Now the Cats with Jeweled Claws were experimental, openly concerned with homosexuals, and mostly one-acts.

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Lewd

THINGS I WAS surprised to learn in William E. Jones’ biography of the legendary pornographer … Boyd McDonald: first, that he got the idea for his magazine Straight to Hell after reading a passage in Myra Breckinridge lambasting circumcision; second …

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All the Lonely Artists

The Lonely City is more particular—about a flâneur’s loneliness (the narrator’s) and the alienation that produces art (her subjects’).

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