Further reading, fall 2018 (part 2)

  • by Gregg Shapiro
  • Wednesday October 3, 2018
Share this Post:

Funny that way: Based on the live show and podcast created in 2009 by gay comedian Kevin Allison, "Risk! True Stories People Never Thought They'd Dare to Share" (Hachette), edited and with an introduction by Allison, features pieces by gay contributors Dan Savage, David Crabb and Walter Zimmerman, as well as Aisha Tyler, Lili Taylor, Michael Ian Black and Mark Maron.

Taking "funny that way" in a completely different direction, prolific poet and writer Jim Elledge's "The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century" (Chicago Review Press) picks up where St Sukie de la Croix's "Chicago Whispers" left off in closely examining the Windy City's queer history.

Gay writer-performer David Sedaris, who has the uncanny ability to make readers laugh and cry, sometimes within the same piece, is back with "Calypso" (Little, Brown), a new collection of essays, many set at Sedaris' North Carolina beach house the Sea Section (kid you not!), including the hilarious same-sex marriage essay "A Modest Proposal."

Poets' corner: The author of more than 20 books, Eileen Myles, in the midst of an especially productive period, brings us "Evolution" (Grove), more than 70 poems as well as a couple of essays.

Gay poet-playwright-editor-publisher Raymond Luczak delivers his most experimental collection of poetry in "A Babble of Objects" (Fomite), featuring several visually stimulating poems.

Winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, "living queer black poet from Chicago" Julian Randall's electrifying debut collection "Refuse" (Univ. of Pittsburgh), "set against the backdrop of the Obama presidency," touches on the biracial poet's journey through "family, sexuality and a hostile American landscape."

Trans voices: Rutgers University sociology professor Arlene Stein, author of "Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity" (Pantheon), presents a sociological examination of how the new generation of transgender men view themselves, the world, and the impact they have on society.

One-half of the music duo Too Attached, award-winning, Canada-based trans artist Vivek Shraya's "I'm Afraid of Men" (Penguin) delves into the ways "masculinity was imposed on her as a boy," and how it "continues to haunt her as a girl."

"Sketchtasy" (Arsenal Pulp Press), the ninth book by gender-queer writer and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, is a novel that vividly revives 90s gay culture, as experienced by Alexa and her pals, warts and all.

Fictional forays: First published six years ago, Michael Lowenthal's "The Paternity Test" (Univ. of Wisconsin Press) is now available in paperback. We've come a long way since then, but the subject matter of LGBTQ parenting is still as timely as ever.

Also newly available in a paperback edition, "Hide" (Bloomsbury), the debut novel by Matthew Griffin, deftly handles the issue of aging in the gay community via the story of Wendell and Frank, together since WWII.

In Y/A novel "Never Rest" (Lethe) by award-winning writer Marshall Thornton, 19-year-old Jake is undergoing experimental treatments for leukemia, discovers he's attracted to another patient, and realizes he is experiencing a frightening transformation.