Arts & Culture :: Books

Kiss & makeup

Kiss & makeup

  • by Jim Piechota
  • Jan 29, 2019

Whether or not you appreciate "Drag Race" hostess and impresario RuPaul Andre Charles, he remains one of the pioneers of the drag queen universe after three decades as a public figure.

Designated (music) driver

Designated (music) driver

  • by Roberto Friedman
  • Jan 22, 2019

There was a certain electricity in Davies Symphony Hall last Friday night as Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted the San Francisco Symphony for the first time since his appointment as Music Director Designate was announced at the end of last year.

Sultry suppositions

Sultry suppositions

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Jan 22, 2019

"Tell Them of Battles, Kings and Elephants" (New Directions), written in French in 2010, is an intoxicant of a different kind, even if the named intoxicants in it are of manifold kinds.

Olivia de Havilland, a star still shining

Olivia de Havilland, a star still shining

  • by Tavo Amador
  • Jan 15, 2019

Olivia de Havilland (b. 1916), the last living star from the 1930s, published "Every Frenchman Has One" (1961) about her life in France following her marriage to Paris "Match" editor Pierre Galante, but has yet to write her memoirs.

Poet's Parisian sojourn

Poet's Parisian sojourn

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Jan 15, 2019

I know I'm leading with a tautology here, but I've never before read a book anything like "What's Left of the Night" (New Vessel Press).

Improper Bostonian

Improper Bostonian

  • by Jim Piechota
  • Jan 15, 2019

Lambda Award-winning author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore draws from her time spent living in Boston in 1995 to inform "Sketchtasy," a coming-of-age novel.

Happy reading for holiday giving

Happy reading for holiday giving

  • by Tavo Amador
  • Dec 11, 2018

Walking around a bookstore often yields wonderful surprises for shoppers, especially for those looking for solutions to the challenges of holiday giving.

Fighting trans stereotypes

Fighting trans stereotypes

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Nov 27, 2018

The potent new memoir "Amateur" (Scribner) is by Thomas Page McBee, an American trans man whose journey took him to Madison Square Garden — in the ring.

Reigning queens

Reigning queens

  • by Jim Piechota
  • Nov 20, 2018

It's a Barbie world where the boys rule on thrones laden with sequined pink fabric.

November reading list: Creative writing

November reading list: Creative writing

  • by Gregg Shapiro
  • Nov 13, 2018

Fiction frontier: "The Caregiver" (Simon & Schuster), the gripping final novel by the late gay novelist and filmmaker Samuel Park (who died of stomach cancer at the age of 41 in 2017), draws on his Brazilian birthplace.

Towards better trans understanding

Towards better trans understanding

  • by by Tim Pfaff
  • Nov 13, 2018

"Trans Kids: Being Gendered in the Twenty-First Century" (UC Press) never resorts to the sensational to be gripping, compassionate and itself intellectually fluid.

Super suffragettes

Super suffragettes

  • by Roberto Friedman
  • Oct 30, 2018

On the eve of this historic and Very Important Election, we can't say it better than Hans the Franz does with his spectacular outfit. He's out there in the Castro District streets, resplendent in his declamatory onesie, and it's all to get out the vote.

Dealing the dirt

Dealing the dirt

  • by Tim Pfaff
  • Oct 30, 2018

In the case of Dale Peck's new novel, "Night Soil" (Soho Press), forget everything you think about the Dale Peck of the past.

Underground hero

Underground hero

  • by Garland Richard Kyle
  • Oct 30, 2018

Whether it was glam rock or punk rock, Reed was a precursor, if not the godfather, of musical styles and rock-n-roll movements.