Hi all. I'm working on my Master's degree in Information Studies. This semester, for my final project, I'm putting together a Subject Guide for the university library I work on. The purpose of Subject Guides, or Research Guides, is to provide patrons with important books, journals, media, and websites on the given topic. I've chosen to make my topic LGBT.
So, what I would love, is if you would give me recommendations. Have you read or seen anything for, by, or about gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgenders that you think should (or should not!) be included on my list? Fiction, nonfiction, kid's, media, magazines, journals: all are welcome! If you know of a particularly good website in this subject area, I'd love to hear about that, as well.
I've got a rather long list already of stuff to check over, but, as I certainly haven't read everything (the time, I wish I had it!), I'm interested to hear what you all have to recommend, as well!
Thanks in advance!
Hey, there-- my name's Mark! I'm gay, live in North Carolina, and love to read.
I've enjoyed reading the reviews, here. I wanted to introduce myself, and to contribute some thoughts on a recent book that I enjoyed.
Ever read a book and wished that you'd found it at a younger age? That's how I feel about this novel:
When You Don't See Me( More!Collapse )
I have recently finished reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon and posted a review on my blog
. It was my first foray into his works, and I enjoyed it very much. The review on my blog did not specifically address gay aspects of the book. Sammy’s struggle with his homosexuality is central to the plot, and cannot be overlooked.
I found the book's view of a homosexual’s life in mid-1900s USA thought-provoking , a subject which Chabon handled sensitively and openly. Sammy in his early adult life (1939-1944) became aware of his feelings towards men, and that he was not alone. When he met radio personality Tracy Bacon, the devil-may-care star of the radio serialization of Kavalier & Clay’s "The Adventures of The Escapist", the floodgates were let loose and the love that could not speak its name was found. The euphoria was quickly dissipated after a police raid on a home where the couple were staying— Tracy moved to LA to work in film, and then was killed in WWII in the Pacific theatre. Meanwhile Sammy saved Rosa and Joe’s relationship and reputations by marrying Rosa and claiming fathership over Joe’s son, Tommy. Sammy had buried himself in a vision of heteronormality that he hoped would cure him.
After living in a grey lifeless world he was released from his self-imposed chains by the two people he loved most, and who loved him unconditionally—his cousin Joe and his wife Rosa (as well as his son Tommy). These characters show heroism, an important recurring theme in this novel, through the device of the “golden key”, an allusion to "The Escapist" comic book which Sammy and Joe produced. Sammy gives the “golden key” to Joe, by moving to LA at the end of the story and letting Joe resume his relationship with Rosa and the child he left behind. Rosa gives Sammy the “golden key” by absolving him of any responsibility to her in their relationship, so he can get on with his life. To quote Bernard Kornblum, Joe’s teacher in the art of escapism, “It takes love to open the lock”, and rightly so-- one can be offered the key to escape, and one can know how to use it, but it takes love to turn the key and to help the other leave the chains behind.
Joe, Sammy and Rosa have a complicated and modern relationship, which is developed and tested by the vagaries of youthful ambition and love, the ravages and despair of war, the harsh realities of adult responsibilities, the cynicism resulting from misuse, and the psychic wear-and-tear of daily existence. Underlying is great love and respect for each other, but not much love of one’s self.
Sammy’s amazing adventures continue no doubt as he rides off into the sunset (figuratively speaking) on a westbound cross-country train holding on to that golden dream that things can turn out better for him. He leaves supposedly behind his struggles with homosexuality, his attempt to fit in and lead a normal life, and his stealthful, shame-provoking deviance from the suburban path he chose. One's imagination must fill in the blanks when the story ends, but one imagines a positivy end for him, as he leaves behind the New York City suburbs where his family remains -- Joe, Rosa and Tommy-- supportive of his life-changing decision and living out the suburban dream on their own new terms.
The American Dream is given once again “another chance”.
It’s definitely worth reading Mr. Chabon’s view on the homosexual situation in mid-century 1900s before it became gay. It’s still a relevant story today.
Wed, Jun. 13th, 2007, 09:35 pm
After searching interests for "Gay Literature," I'm glad I found this community. I noticed this post
and immediately ordered The Sluts
and You Are Not the One
. I'm really looking forward to reading them and hearing more suggestions from this community. Just thought I'd express my gratitude in advance. (:
i work in a large bookstore near the gayborhood in houston, and so every year we have a gay pride month display. i walked in yesterday and saw it and it was pretty pathetic compared to last years so i took it upon myself to beef it up. i tried dividing it into boys and girls but then i found that a) there are very few lesbian novels [at least, that i know of] and b) few of them (boy OR girl) have happy endings. in most of the ones i've read, the characters are usually head-over-heels for someone but end up getting their heart broken, or have other aspects of their lives that aren't going very well. is this common or do i just read very depressing books?
do you guys know of any that have endings where the characters end up reasonably well-adjusted and/or with someone?
i know these are probably more realistic, i'm just wondering if we're ever thrown a bone.
(cross posted to tommaso