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National Book Awards Longlist Announced, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Author Comes Out, and More LGBT News

National Book Awards Longlist Announced, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Author Comes Out, and More LGBT News

Author: Parrish Turner

September 19, 2016

In other LGBT news…

Queer authors have been cleaning up the National Book Awards Longlist which was announced this week, including Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs To You, Adam Haslett’s Imagine Me Gone,  and Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon was Ours. Congratulations!

Director Barry Jenkins was interviewed by the New York Times about his new film Moonlight:

I approach the theme of sexuality in the movie as an ally and through the prism of empathy. I don’t have a first-person perspective on what it means to be a gay black man in America, but Tarell does. So it’s in the source material. In a perfect world, when people see the film and spend time with these characters, they want to actively find more ways than I can even put into the film to empathize with them, and to have a more nuanced understanding of what it means to be black in America, black and poor in America, black and gay and male in America. One of the many things I love in this film that I didn’t do is the performances. Every time those people come onscreen, you think one thing, and then you get into their eyes, and you feel a whole other thing.

Fans of ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ will be delighted to learn that a recent profile of author Ann M. Martin subtly confirmed rumors of Martin’s sapphic interests. The profile does largely focus on her new series ‘Missy Piggle-Wiggle’ due out this month.

In other “coming out” news: Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert has announced her relationship with filmmaker, writer, and musician Rayya Elias. Elias was recently diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.

The latest issue of drain contains a collection of essays, thought experiments, and interviews on the topic of “AIDS and Memory.”

Drag queens reading feminist fairy tales to children? Drag Queen Storytelling Hour is now available in San Francisco and Brooklyn.

In a storytelling voice I imagine she must use a lot in her classroom of 3- and 4-year-olds, Lin retold a fairy tale she’d read in Tatterhood a few days ago from memory. It had something to do with a sumo wrestler who thought he was strong and powerful, only to learn he could be easily overpowered by a small woman, who then took him home and taught him about true strength alongside her mother. Lin emphasized the obvious – the stories in Tatterhood are stories in which women are real characters with real agency, and they know that there are more important things in life than being pretty and having long, flowing hair.

For those who prefer their drag with a bit more of an adult edge, Taylor Mac was profiled by the New York Times.

He is both a throwback to an era when artists prided themselves on being outsiders challenging the establishment, and an ideal avatar of current cut-and-paste aesthetics. Queer in pretty much every sense of the word, he has emerged as a high priest of nonconformity with a devoted congregation of the disenfranchised, as well as a circus ringleader who wants everyone, even the frat boy, to find the freak within.

In The New Yorker, poet Tommy Pico’s profile explores his poetry, his identity, and the emotions which fuel it all:

Eventually, Pico learned how to get all the balls in the air, as he put it, and to juggle “the fucking or texting somebody” and the “three hundred years of colonial practices,” his love for the English language and the pleasures of pop culture. He began crafting poems with an eye toward destabilizing his readers and listeners, lulling them into a false sense of security with jokey lines about Grindr and take-out food, getting them to laugh in recognition until suddenly he’s talking about diabetes or the killing of Native Americans and his audience is finding out who can stop laughing the fastest. “I call it Trojan horsing,” Pico explained. “I gotta be, like, ‘This is a gift of a beautiful horse I gave you,’ and then put the drawbridge up, and it’s chaos.”

The novel Portraits at an Exhibition was awarded the Arts in Literature Award from Library of Virginia and the University of Virginia. Congratulations!


Photo: Taylor Mac via New York Times

Parrish Turner photo

About: Parrish Turner

Parrish Turner is a queer writer who hails from Georgia. He holds his MFA from The New School, with a focus in creative nonfiction. His work has been featured on The Rumpus and Gertrude Press. You can learn more at

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