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Author Archive | Richard Canning

Mark Merlis: An Obituary

  Mark Merlis—author of four groundbreaking gay novels – died on August 15th 2017 in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Hospital. The cause of death was pneumonia, related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which he had been diagnosed with just a year ago. Aged 67, Merlis is survived by his life partner – and since […]

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The Great Work Continues!

Lane’s performance in this production is simply jaw-dropping. Kushner’s pleasure in writing such a dark character is evident: he gave Cohn a lot of the best lines.

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How to Be Gay in 1861

Cecil Dreeme is remarkable, compelling, and utterly unclassifiable.

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Selective Reading of a Complex Era

THE PERIOD loosely called “gay liberation” is invariably thought of as falling somewhere between the buttoned-up climate of the 1950s and the emergence of AIDS in the ’80s, but for Jim Downs and many others, it ultimately comes down to the ’70s.

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A Portrait in Melancholy

Cassandra Langer’s biography of Romaine Brooks ultimately builds on, rather than displaces, the 1974 biography of Brooks by Meryle Secrest, Between Me and Life, to which it rather frequently makes reference. 

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Life of a Poet, Friend, Ventriloquist

  James Merrill: Life and Art by Langdon Hammer Knopf. 912 pages, $40.   JAMES MERRILL (1926-1995) was that rare breed: a 20th-century poet who had money. His father had founded Merrill Lynch and provided a lifelong income for his son. Merrill had extraordinary talent too, and, if this marvelous, comprehensive critical biography showcases every […]

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Excavations from a British Century

THIS BOOK is a bona fide curiosity—a volume of 125 short surveys of major, minor, and often totally neglected works of British, Irish, and Commonwealth gay male fiction.

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All the Doomed Young Men

The Plaster Fabric by Martyn Goff Valancourt Books. 200 pages, $16.99 The Youngest Director by Martyn Goff Valancourt Books. 218 pages, $15.99 A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson Valancourt Books. 164 pages, $15.99 The Leather Boys by Gillian Freeman Valancourt Books. 155 pages, $14.99 Denis Bracknel by Forrest Reid Valancourt Books. 226 pages, […]

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Homologous Tales of the Near East

  The Homoerotics of Orientalism by Joseph Allen Boone Columbia University Press 520 pages, $50.   ONCE EVERY DECADE or so, a book appears that revolutionizes the field of GLBT studies. For many critics, Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality may have been that title in the 1970s. John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality […]

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The Splendid, Drunken van Vechten

Carl van Vechten receives the copious and discriminating biographical analysis he has long needed, in the form of The Tastemaker, an exceptional publication and Edward White’s first book.

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