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‘Fun Home’ Gets a Cast Recording, the Norman Rockwell Biography Controversy, and Other LGBT Literary News

‘Fun Home’ Gets a Cast Recording, the Norman Rockwell Biography Controversy, and Other LGBT Literary News

Author: William Johnson

December 5, 2013

In the News

Show tune mavens rejoice! The well received musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is getting a cast recording.

Playbill reports:

PS Classics will record the critically acclaimed production of the Jeanine TesoriLisa Kron musical Fun Home, based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, which is currently playing an extended run at The Public Theater.

[…]The cast will record the album Dec. 2 in anticipation of a Feb. 18, 2014, release. It will be produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker. PS Classics previously recorded and released the cast recording of The Public Theater production of Road Show.

The family members of Norman Rockwell are not very happy with a new biography of the artist. The bio, written by Deborah Solomon and titled American Mirror (FSG), implies Rockwell had deep-seated same sex desires.

Per the New York Times:

“The bottom line is that’s it’s astonishing,” said Abigail Rockwell, a granddaughter of the painter, who said he was heterosexual and “not remotely a repressed man.”

“She layers the whole biography with these innuendos,” Ms. Rockwell added. “These things she’s writing about Norman Rockwell are simply not true.”

This month, Band of Thebes queried a stellar line-up of LGBT writers to name the best books of the year. Check out the complete run down here.

Over at Autostraddle, queer Internet linguistics get an interesting and thorough working over:

As internet language has evolved, abbreviations and acronyms have gone from simple time-savers and fun puzzles to what linguist John McWhorter categorizes as “pragmatic particles,”which serve as empathy markers (“lol” means “I feel you” about as often as it actually means “laughing out loud”) or denote shifts in tone (“hey” has become a way to change topics). Based on my experience with Queer Internet Linguistics, I’d argue that they can do even more. Take, for example, my favorite acronym, which was invented by Autostraddle and has since entered the queer internet lexicon: “ALH” for “Alternative Lifestyle Haircut.”

A Google search for “alternative lifestyle haircut” leads almost exclusively to Autostraddle and similarly queer blogs — if I were to drop it in conversation, my very savvy sixteen-year-old sister probably wouldn’t get it. The phrase codes for a specific and common queer experience, even as the thing it describes gets more and more broadly popular. It’s a way to reclaim a term that has been used to other us — the mundanity of “haircut” offsets the clinical bent of “alternative lifestyle,” and the whole thing together is silly and savvy at the same time.

Is our LGBT writing community losing publishing outlets for more transgressive queer voices, especially as we strive for more “mainstream” acceptance? Writer Ella Boureau believes so.

In Pretty Queer, Boureau writes,  

I want to know where a writer like me can get a break and be read outside the 50 or so people who have come into contact with me through readings or parties or other local gatherings. I want to know why the walls to accessibility are now being built by the very people who were once trying to tear them down.

This week, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) awarded writer Samuel Delany the prestigious 2013 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

Steve Gould, SFWA Board President, released the following statement:

One of the perks of being SFWA president is the option of selecting the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s next Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. One of the tragedies is we only get to select one a year. That said, from the grains of sand in my pocket, I am delighted to pull this star.

Samuel R. Delany is one of science fiction’s most influential authors, critics, and teachers and it is my great honor to announce his selection. When discussing him as this year’s choice with the board, past-presidents, and members, the most frequent response I received was, “He’s not already?”

Well he is now.


William Johnson photo

About: William Johnson

William Johnson is the former Deputy Director of Lambda Literary.

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