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Issues Archives: The Future of 'Gay'

January-February 2016

Bleak is Beautiful

  What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell Farrar, Straus and Giroux 208 pages, $23.   GARTH GREENWELL is a poet and beginning novelist whose critically acclaimed novella Mitko came out in 2011. Psychologically penetrating and emotionally searing, Mitko is a taut portrait of the relationship between the book’s title character, a Bulgarian hustler, and […]

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On First Looking into Sedgwick’s Epistemology

  MARKING the 25th anniversary of the publication of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s strange and difficult book The Epistemology of the Closet (1990) is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Let me try in a rather personal way. My first encounter with Sedgwick’s magnum opus occurred when I began researching my honors thesis. […]

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Pop Goes the Sexual Revolution

  Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT October 17, 2015–January 24, 2016   Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls Edited by Patricia Hickson Yale University Press. 184 pages, $60.   THE FIRST exhibition ever to consider Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe together—their careers overlapped from the late 1960s to the […]

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The Madoffs at Brideshead

  Those People Directed by Joey Kuhn Little Big Horn Films   INDIE FILMS work as a rule because they probe a single theme: a slice of one person’s life; a snapshot of a relationship. They can’t get too complicated—budgetary restrictions see to that— but they’ll explore this central idea from all possible angles. Those […]

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What Is ‘Compersion’?

  Love’s Refraction: Jealousy and Compersion in Queer Women’s Polyamorous Relationships by Jillian Deri University of Toronto Press. 168 pages, $21.95     JILLIAN DERI introduces this book by explaining that “for my research, I spoke with polyamorous queer, lesbian, and bisexual women in Vancouver, Canada, about how and why they practise polyamory.” Specifically, the interview subjects […]

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The James Sister

  Alice in Bed: A Novel by Judith Hooper Counterpoint Press 322 pages, $25.   ALICE JAMES, the youngest sibling in an eccentric but brilliant family, was as an adult an invalid and a diarist. Her father was a suicidal, one-legged theologian, lecturer, and author of self-published books that no one bought. The family was […]

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Working Out

IN HIS NEW HISTORY of the gymnasium, Eric Chaline writes that one reason people go to gyms as adults is that they enjoyed physical activity when they were young, though I’ve always suspected that for gay male gym-goers the reverse is often the case.

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Oliver Sacks’ Swan-Song Revelation

  On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks Alfred A. Knopf. 397 pages, $27.95   IN THE MIDDLE of this richly detailed autobiography, published just four months before his death last August, Oliver Sacks tells a story about himself and a cat. In 1979, he bought a house on City Island, a small seaport […]

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The Woman Who Was ‘Orlando’

  Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Matthew Dennison St. Martin’s Press. 384 pages, $29.99   VITA SACKVILLE-WEST rode the dragons of her life, as Matthew Dennison remarks in his new biography, with the aplomb of a “disposessed aristocrat in the twentieth century.” Several biographers have attempted to tell the story of Vita […]

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A Pioneer’s Other Discoveries

  The Obelisk and the Englishman: The Pioneering Discoveries of Egyptologist William Bankes by Dorothy U. Seyler Prometheus Books. 304 pages, $26.   BY THE TIME I finished this book I had come to the conclusion that the subtitle was somewhat misleading. The middle— and largest—section does describe William Bankes’ 1815–20 travels through Egypt and the […]

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