What is a Gay Novel?

Now that both the Publishing Triangle and the Lambda Literary finalists have been announced, it’s a good time to ask the question:  What makes a novel gay?  Gay characters?  A gay theme?  And does the author have to be gay? The so-called “gay novel,” first attracted national attention when Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story […]

On the Anniversary Of QueerReader.com

This month, QueerReader.com quietly celebrated it’s seventh anniversary.  It’s a good time to take stock. When this website was launched, there were literally LGBT bookstores from coast to coast.  A Different Light had branches in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Washington DC had a gay bookstore, as did several medium-size cities across the U.S.  And […]

The End of Queer Reading as We Knew it: On the closing of A Different Light Bookstore.

I’m old enough to remember a time when literally everyone I knew regularly visited a bookstore named A Different Light.  I am actually referring to the first New York location–on Hudson Street.  That store functioned as something of a drop-in center.  I, myself, would go there several times a week to pick up a copy […]

Six Unforeseen Consequences of the Digitization of Books

When President Dwight David Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, he had no idea what the consequences to this country would be.  President Eisenhower’s main concern was, of course national defense.  He had seen the Autobahns in Germany.  And he strongly believed that in the event of an attack, a well-constructed, fully […]

What Would Auden Review?

The great queer poet, W.H. Auden once said:  “One cannot review a bad book without showing off.”  Maybe that’s why I have been so reluctant to review bad books.  Maybe I thought having a website was showing off enough. I began this blog on a down note.  Gay and Lesbian bookstores were closing.  Queer Lit was increasingly marginalized.  […]

This will be our year.

June is a special month for my neighborhood:  Chelsea.   In an annual migration, the circuit boys have landed here for the month, en route to Provincetown, Fire Island and points beyond.  This ephemeral splash of beauty is enhanced by the occasional appearance of long-lost acquaintances–acquaintances I’d long thought were dead.  The experience is quasi-religious: a virtual resurrection.   No, he didn’t […]

Writing on Prop 8: The Nation disappoints and Justice Moreno has the last word.

When the sad, but expected California Supreme Court Proposition 8 ruling came in yesterday, I automatically turned to one of my favorite writers, Arthur Leonard, to help me make sense of it.  Sure enough, Mr. Leonard quickly turned in a high quality report on the court’s decision. Arthur Leonard is, in my opinion, one of […]

Tom Daschle: OY!!

Two weeks ago today, I celebrated the innauguration of Barack Obama with a rave review of Tom Daschle’s book, Critical.  Unfortunately, recent press revelations have severely tarnished Mr. Daschle’s reputation.  Yesterday Tom Daschle even issued an apology to the Senate Finance Committee. Apology for what?  On Friday it was reported by the New York Times that Mr. Daschle […]

President Obama: YAY!!!

As you probably know, not everyone is celebrating today.  Many gays and lesbians have cancelled their innaugural parties.  Even after the announcement that openly gay bishop, Eugene Robinson, would be giving the invocation at yesterday’s pre-innaugural celebration.  Even after the Washington DC Gay Men’s Chorus performed at that event.  The reason for all this discontent is, of course, […]