Arts & Culture :: Books

Boy destroyed

Boy destroyed

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • May 28, 2019

It's hard to imagine the reader of Damian Barr's debut novel "You Will Be Safe Here" (Bloomsbury Publishing) who doesn't sense that the title portends the opposite.

Rock Hudson, fantasy man

Rock Hudson, fantasy man

  • by Tavo Amador
  • May 26, 2019

Tall, dark, handsome, buffed, manly yet sensitive: Rock Hudson (1925-85) was the embodiment of the classic Hollywood hunk in the 1950s and 60s.

Young love & its bittersweet aftermath

Young love & its bittersweet aftermath

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • May 21, 2019

"Lie with Me" (Scribner) is as immediately involving and heart-breaking a tale of gay first love as I can recall.

Theater activism

Theater activism

  • by Jim Piechota
  • May 14, 2019

In his latest collection of essays and performance pieces, Tim Miller demonstrates a well-honed sense of humor, a passion for queer history, and the kind of melodrama only a true performance artist can exude.

Three queens & an ace

Three queens & an ace

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • May 7, 2019

I've wearied of the too-oft-repeated Joan Didion quote, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live." In a warmer voice all his own, Dustin Lance Black has given it a new lease on life with his memoir, "Mama's Boy: A Story from Our Americas."

Everybody must get stoned

Everybody must get stoned

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Apr 30, 2019

In the part of his life that begins after the events chronicled in his new book "The Light Years" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Chris Rush has become known as a painter.

It's curtains for Joy

It's curtains for Joy

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Apr 23, 2019

Christopher Castellani's deeply felt new "Leading Men" (Viking) exhibits another compelling aurora.

Broadway or bust!

Broadway or bust!

  • by Brian Bromberger
  • Apr 16, 2019

In his new memoir, gay actor Andrew Rannells tells the contemporary Candide-like adventure of a Midwestern boy relocating to New York City to fulfill his dream of being on a Broadway stage.

When the editor is a boldface name

When the editor is a boldface name

  • by Roberto Friedman
  • Apr 9, 2019

"The Editor," a new novel by Steven Rowley (Putnam), takes off from the most promising of premises. What if a first-time novelist discovers that the book editor at Doubleday who signs on to shepherd his book through publication turns out to be Jackie?

Cold in Key West

Cold in Key West

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Apr 9, 2019

I read my way sequentially through Michael Carroll's new short story collection, "Stella Maris and Other Key West Stories" (Turtle Point Press).

Vexed veteran

Vexed veteran

  • by Jim Piechota
  • Apr 9, 2019

The astute literary examination of the enduring trauma of wartime military service "Men Touching" is set in the mid-1980s and follows Robb Jorgenson, a Seattle biology professor in his 40s.

Promiscuous living comes to light

Promiscuous living comes to light

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Apr 2, 2019

"Luminous Traitor: The Just and Daring Life of Roger Casement" (UC Press) is a deeply informed biographical novel, skillfully told in present tense, that brings a lesser-known historical era and its principal actors.

Houston confidential

Houston confidential

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Mar 26, 2019

The stories in "Lot" are free-standing but cycle around the family fable of a first-person narrator Nic (Nicolas), whose name is revealed grudgingly.

South Bend's rising star Pete Buttigieg

South Bend's rising star Pete Buttigieg

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Mar 22, 2019

You can judge both the book and the subject by the cover of Pete Buttigieg's new autobiography, "Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future" (Liveright).