Book Buzz: September 2010
Author: John Morgan Wilson
September 1, 2010
JM Redman has been honored with the New Orleans Gay Achievement Awards Lifetime Achievement Award for both her full-time work with an AIDS service organization and her writing (her Micky Knight PI series is set in the Big Easy). You can read about it here. JM’s most recent novel, Death of a Dying Man, won the Lambda Literary award for Best Lesbian Mystery. Her next, Water Mark (Bold Strokes Books), is out this month.
Speaking of JM and Bold Strokes, BSB’s new author blog has gone live, with a post by JM that explores the post-Katrina question, “How do you write about a city you live in but no longer know?” More posts by BSB authors to follow.
Meanwhile, two titles by BSB author Radclyffe are finalists in The Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Awards sponsored by the Romance Writers of America Ancient City Romance Authors chapter: Returning Tides and Secrets in the Stone. Secrets in the Stone was also named a 2010 Prism award winner by the RWA’s Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal chapter.
Scott Helm’s Mysterious Skin, a dark novel (and film) about a troubled teenager, a hustler who was once his best friend, and the heart-breaking truths of his childhood, has been adapted by Prince Gomolvilas for a provocative stage production from East West Players, the venerable Asian-American theatre group in Los Angeles. Tim Dang directs a non-traditional cast of Asian actors portraying characters originally written as white. The play will run from September 9 to October 10.
Jeanette Winterson, acclaimed British author of the Whitbread Prize-winning novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, first published twenty years ago, has written a children’s thriller for the BBC, to be broadcast later this year. Jeanette has been hard at work on other projects, including two books for children due out soon, a response, she told the Guardian, to “complete and utter defeat and depression” following a breakup with her longtime partner.
When Lit Crawl returns to New York on September 11, the literary “bar crawl” – more than 25 authors reading at 15 bars around lower Manhattan – will feature its first exclusively gay event. The gay component, Kensington Queers!, consists of three Kensington authors: Lee Houck (Yield), Frank Anthony Polito (Drama Queers!, the 2010 Best Gay Romance Lambda Award winner), and Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy, the 2010 Best Debut Fiction Lammy winner). They’ll read from 7-7:45 p.m. at Von Bar, 3 Bleecker Street. Details here.
On the subject of Kensington authors: Lee Houck has been racking up some nice reviews for Yield, his debut novel about a contemporary Manhattan teeming with sex and violence as seen through the eyes of a part-time hustler. They include The Advocate (“…fast-paced, sometimes wrenching, often sharp-witted…”) and Richard Labonte in a forthcoming Book Marks column (“Brisk and buoyant, this engaging debut captures big-city hustle with small-town heart.”).
In conjunction with the upcoming West Hollywood Book Fair the city is honoring acclaimed lesbian poet, editor and educator Eloise Klein Healey with its annual Algonquin West Hollywood Literary Award. The award goes to a living Southern California author who has made a notable contribution to literature. Previous honorees include Mark Salzman, Luis Rodriguez and Aimee Liu.
Editor Tony Merevick dropped a line to remind Book Buzz that Q Review, “Chicago’s Queer Literature and Arts Magazine,” celebrates its first year with this month’s issue. The new reading period begins September 15, aiming for the December issue. Check the website for submission guidelines.
Robert Jaquay interviewed Lambda Award-winning novelist KG MacGregor at the LGBT talk radio blog MyQmunity Blog Talk Radio. In a related review of KG’s thirteenth and latest novel, Photographs of Claudia (Bella Books), Robert praised “her tradition of finely crafted story telling.”
Winning for “Excellence in Ensemble” was the cast of the TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence) production of The Five Lesbian Brothers’ The Secretaries, directed by Mark Finley. The show – featuring Virginia Baeta, Elizabeth A. Bell, Jamie Heinlein, Karen Stanion, and Elizabeth Whitney – has extended its run this month as part of the Fringe Encores Series.
Meanwhile, TOSOS begins its Robert Chesley/Jane Chambers Playwrights Project for the 2010-11 season on September 25 with a free staged reading of Swan Adamson’s The Dads Get Married, directed by Mark Finley. The series offers staged readings of new, classic, or contemporary GLBT works.
Journalist and novelist Nat Burns (House of Cards) interviewed country music star Cheryl Wright about her headline-making coming out for the August cover story of Lesbian News.
Eduardo Santiago’s short story, “Havana Hilton,” will be published in the PEN USA anthology, Strange Cargo, an Emerging Voices Anthology, which includes stories, poems and nonfiction pieces by Emerging Voices Fellows from 1997 to 2010. Eduardo is also the author of the novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss (Little, Brown).
Yukon storyteller and performer Ivan E. Coyote (Missed Her) will join New Orleans comic Jessica Halem for a butch/femme California tour this month. Here’s a youtube link to Jessica on being an early feminist and one with Ivan on femmes. Check their websites for their tour schedule.
After selling out its second printing with Alyson Books, Arthur Wooten’s On Picking Fruit, a humorous novel about a gay man on a quest to find his soul mate, has been reprinted by the Author’s Guild. On Picking Fruit and its sequel, Fruit Cocktail, have been optioned for development as a TV series. Another Wooten novel, Birthday Pie, an epic tale about a gay writer and his eccentric Southern family, is in preproduction as a film from Black Nexxus, with Phylicia Rashad starring and Debbie Allen set to direct.
After a break of more than three years, the sixth issue of BLOOM is out and available online. Content includes poetry by Mark Doty and Minnie Bruce Pratt, fiction by Joan Nestle and James Magruder, and photography by Catherine Opie. Bloom’s current submission period – poetry, short fiction, nonfiction – ends October 1. Guidelines on the website; electronic submissions accepted.
In this month’s installment of “Left Field,” her long-running monthly column about AIDS and public health issues for A & U Magazine, Patricia Nell Warren interviews Nicholas Snow, an American entertainer and activist now living in Bangkok, where he has helped launch a worldwide HIV testing and safer-sex campaign.
Kathe Koja has a trailer up for her novel, Under the Poppy, a gay love story set in a Victorian brothel, due out from Small Beer Press next month. A multi-media stage production at the Detroit Opera House is in the planning for next year.
Lots of buzz around Krakow Melt (Arsenal Pulp Press), the second novel from Daniel Allen Cox following his Lammy-nominated Shuck. The new book revolves around two pyromaniacs who fight homophobia in Krakow, Poland during political upheaval there in 2005. You can read interviews at Xtra.ca and Edge Boston and one of many positive reviews at Facepuller. San Francisco’s A Different Light Books, in partnership with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, has made Krakow Melt an October book club pick, and it’s being excerpted online this month by The Advocate.
The staff at In Other Words Women’s Books and Resources reviewed and recommended Let’s Get This Straight: The Ultimate Handbook for Youth with LGBTQ Parents, written by Tina Fakhrid-Deen with Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE), on the Just Out blog. Seal Press will publish Let’s Get This Straight next month.
Richard Stevenson’s The 38 Million Dollar Smile, the tenth in his Donald Strachey (gay) PI series, published last year by MLR Press, will be out shortly in East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand under the title Bangkok Free Fall, from Singapore’s Monsoon Books. Richard’s new Strachey title, Cockeyed, is also available this month from MLR.
Bella Books has acquired Tats, an offbeat lesbian love story by Layce Gardner. You might know Layce from her screenplay for Lifetime’s highly-rated movie Prison of Secrets. Bella plans to release Tats in 2011.
Palm Springs writer and musical stage director Ted Bacino has a website (www.TheShakespeareConspiracy.com) up for his new novel, The Shakespeare Conspiracy. Published by Author House, it’s a gay love story involving Christopher Marlowe and his patron Sir Thomas Walsingham, with the Bard figuring in the mix of mysteries surrounding the two writers’ lives.
Jeri Estes, author of Stilettos and Steel, a fictional look back at San Francisco’s Tenderloin in the 1960s, has overhauled her website to include access to chapter one and other reader-friendly features.
Rick R. Reed has signed with MLR Press to publish his sixteenth novel, Tricks, a gay romance set in a strip club in Chicago’s Boys Town neighborhood. Look for it later this year.
Butch is a Noun by S. Bear Bergman, originally published by Suspect Thoughts Press, has been reissued by Arsenal Pulp Press with a new afterword.
Tapping a new market, writers Fay Jacobs and Rich Barnett have published “Gay Rehoboth” as an App for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, providing tourist information about the famously gay-friendly Delaware beach town. Here’s the link.
Loose Id will publish a trade paperback edition of Three Wrong Turns in the Desert, the first in Neil Plakcy’s “Have Body, Will Guard” adventure romance series, which had previously been available only as an e-book. For more on Neil’s gay mysteries, click here: www.mahubooks.com.
Medieval mystery author Jeri Westerson, writing as Haley Walsh, just signed with MLR Press to pen a gay mystery series, the Skyler Foxe Mysteries. On the lighter side, it features a young high school English lit teacher who stumbles into murder. The first book in the series, Foxe Tail, is due out later this year. Jeri also blogs here.
Perry Brass reports that the Kindle edition of his gay guide, The Manly Art of Seduction, has been riding high on the Kindle charts in the reference book and Gender Studies under Men categories. It’s also being sold on UK Kindle.
Marilyn Jaye Lewis has sold a second collection of bisexual erotic short fiction, Dirty, Filthy, Lovely: More Erotic Stories, which Renaissance/Page Turner will release early next year. It’s a follow-up to her collection, Lust: Bisexual Erotica, published by Alyson in 2004 and still in print.
Joe Openshaw has a video trailer up for Those Others: Navigating the “Riddle of Homosexuality” in 1965, his novel about a young man in DC in 1965 coming to terms with his sexuality. Joe has also revamped his website to include the video and other features. He’s also got a blog and a nice review of Those Others.
Adam Lowe blogs here about the process involved in writing the novella Troglodyte Rose (Cadaverine Publications), a Lammy finalist in the Transgender Fiction category.
The September issue of Out includes interviews with Lambda Award Finalist Erastes and Alex Beecroft about straight women behind gay erotica – even though, Erastes says, “I told them several times that I am not straight by any means!” Erastes has been promised a correction for the online version.
Educational publisher Mason Crest is creating a series of 15 books geared toward young adult students and older readers that focuses on “gay lifestyle” topics, presenting gay life as natural, not as an issue (pictured right). First up is The Gallup’s Modern Guide to Gay, Lesbian & Transgender Life, due out this fall.
Shattered Applause: The Lives of Eva Le Gallienne, Robert A. Schanke’s biography of the legendary lesbian stage actress, producer, and director during the first half of the 20th century, has been reissued by Southern Illinois University Press. First published in 1992, in the year following Le Gallienne’s death, the book was a finalist for the 1993 Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Nonfiction.
Until September 10, Kathryn Shay is on a “virtual book tour” for her novel The Perfect Family (Bold Strokes), the heartwarming tale of a teenaged boy coming out in a small town. [Details via pumpupyourbook.com]
Nicola Griffith’s short story, “It Takes Two,” was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal by Martin Morse Wooster, who found her tale of a female software exec falling in love with a female lap dancer “neatly constructed, intellectually challenging and smoothly written.” It’s nominated for a Hugo Award; the winner will be announced September 5. [via: asknicola.blogspot.com]
Gay author Paul Harris and his book, Diary From the Dome: Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina were featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on August 30, leading off a piece that looked back at the horrific hurricane. [via LA Times]
Finally: As a member of the planning committee for the 9th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair, it’s my privilege to again invite you to join more than 300 authors and celebrities and 20,00-plus visitors in West Hollywood Park on Sunday, September 26 for a celebration of reading, writing, and literacy. If you need a final nudge, here’s our video PSA. Come on by!
That’s all the Book Buzz for now. So, go read a book!