Further perusal: Post-Pride reading list

  • by Gregg Shapiro
  • Tuesday July 2, 2019
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Further perusal: Post-Pride reading list

Stonewall stories: Arriving in time for the Stonewall 50 festivities, "We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation" (Ten Speed Press), by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown, tells stories of the LGBTQ community in words and pictures, from 1868 to the present day.

Updated and featuring a new introduction, Charles Kaiser's landmark book "The Gay Metropolis" (Grove Press, 1997/2019), featuring the additional subtitle "50 Years After Stonewall," is even more essential reading than ever.

The Stonewall riots figure prominently in historian and journalist St. Sukie de la Croix's new book "Out of the Underground: Homosexuals, The Radical Press, and the Rise and Fall of the Gay Liberation Front" (Rattling Good Yarns), a thorough and enlightening exploration of the publications read and published by young queer radicals in the "turbulent 1960s."

Almost everything you need to know about the paperback edition "Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York" (Bloomsbury, 2017/2019), by beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, can be found in the title. In nine illustrated chapters, Brooklyn-native Chast celebrates Manhattan in all its glory, serving as a reminder that it's a special place shared by gay and straight people alike.

Getting personal: Frank and revealing, "I M: A Memoir" (Flatiron Books), by fashion designer and talk show host turned cabaret performer Isaac Mizrahi, traces the gay Brooklyn native from his sheltered religious upbringing through his coming out at the height of the AIDS epidemic, and his stellar rise to fame and stardom.

"Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls" (Bloomsbury), the debut memoir by literary essayist T Kira Madden, is the brutally honest and personal story of her life as a biracial, queer teen living in Boca Raton, Florida, with parents caught in an ongoing struggle with alcohol and drug addictions.

A powerful collaboration as well as a "compelling act of resistance" between trans writer and musician Vivek Shraya and illustrator Ness Lee, "Death Threat" (Arsenal Pulp Press) presents the harrowing story of Shraya's electronic encounter with a hate mail-sending stranger, in which she found her thoughts and dreams possessed by the sender's threats.

In her inclusive book "Unf#ck Your Intimacy: Using Science for Better Relationships, Sex, and Dating" (Microcosm), Faith G. Harper, Ph.D., includes chapters "Sexuality, Religion and Spirituality," "Changing Bodies, Sexual Disorders, and Other Fuckitude," "Exploring Your Sexual Identity," "Sexing Yourself" and "Date Like a Grownup."

Charting the amusing and uplifting story of activist and trans personality Gigi Gorgeous in her own words and pictures, "He Said, She Said" (Harmony Books) details how she went from "gawky Canadian teen" Gregory to become the documentarian, YouTube sensation and out lesbian that she is today.

Lynn Breedlove, author of "Godspeed" and the Lammy Award-winning "One Freak Show," as well as queercore musician (remember Tribe 8?), returns to the printed page with "45 Thought Crimes: New Writing" (Manic D Press), part poetry, part prayer and all personal memoir.

Creative concepts: Previously published by Rescue Press, the newly reissued "Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl" (Vintage), the debut novel by educator and editor Andrea Lawlor, is about "shapeshifter" Paul, who wildly oscillates from "Riot Grrrl to leather cub," and from "Women's Studies major to trade" while traversing Iowa City, Boystown, Provincetown and San Francisco.

Inspired by the last 50 years of the devastation done to the Amazon, Indian communities and homesteaders by drug cartels, insurgent groups and the Colombian government, "Like This Afternoon Forever" (Kaylie Jones Books, Akashic), by Colombian-born gay writer Jaime Manrique, centers on the "visceral love story" of Lucas and Ignacio.

"Mostly Dead Things" (Tin House Books), the debut novel by queer writer Kristen Arnett, introduces us to Jessa, forced to take over her family's dying taxidermy business following her father's suicide, and her other family members barely hold it together as their lives unravel.

For her second historical novel "The Flight Portfolio" (Knopf), Julie Orringer gives readers a meticulously researched fiction portrait of Varian Fry, an American gay man credited with saving the lives (and works) of creative geniuses condemned by the Nazis, including Marc Chagall, Hannah Arendt, Marcel Duchamp and Andr´┐Ż Breton.

Prolific gay poet-writer-editor-publisher Raymond Luczak pays tribute to Djuna Barnes' 1936 book "Nightwood" with his new novel "Flannelwood" (Red Hen Press), in which barista and failed poet Bill meets and spends a passion-filled winter with disabled factory employee James, only to have the relationship end abruptly in the spring, leading Bill on a quest for answers.

"Pan's Ex: Queer Sex Poetry" (Qommunicate Publishing), edited by Sage Kalmus, is a slim, pocket-sized erotic poetry anthology featuring the work of Kenneth Pobo, Sean Patrick Mulroy, Marie Hartung, David Meischen, Anthony DiPietro and Raven Sky.

Show biz: You didn't know it, but "Drag: Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business" (Rizzoli) by Frank DeCaro, with a foreword by Bruce Vilanch, is the book you've been waiting for all your gay life. A coffee-table book suitable for more than coffee talk (Mike Meyers as Linda Richman even gets a mention), DeCaro's thoroughly researched and very colorful tome illustrates that "drag in show business goes back a lot further than the first season of Drag Race," taking us from ancient Greece into the 21st century.

In their book "Riverdish: The Unauthorized Case Files of Riverdale" (Dey Street), "Riverdish" podcast creators Ryan Bloomquist & Samantha Gold invite you to "hold onto your milkshake" as they reveal how the setting of the popular and very queer TV series "Riverdale," known as the "town with pep," became notorious as a "great place to get away with it all."

From obscure sitcoms such as the rightfully short-lived "The Ugliest Girl in Town" to more popular fare including "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Beverly Hillbillies," Quinlan Miller's "Camp TV: Trans Gender Queer Sitcom History" (Duke Univ. Press) analyzes queer representation and gender nonconformity on TV during the 1950s and 60s.

Boasting an assortment of LGBTQ characters including Stewie Griffin, Karen Griffin and Bruce, as well as an array of musical numbers, Seth MacFarlane's long-running animated series "Family Guy" is given the coffee-table book treatment with "Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History" (Dey Street) by Frazier Moore, featuring a foreword by MacFarlane.