Rabih Alameddine on Collective Memory, Samuel Delany on Genre Writing, and More LGBTQ News
Author: Parrish Turner
December 20, 2017
In other LGBT news…
Rabih Alameddine’s latest book, the Lambda Literary Award winning Angel of History, explores anger at the loss of our collective memory. Alameddine spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about his inspiration for writing the book:
Early on in Alameddine’s fourth novel, recently released in paperback, the protagonist, a gay poet in San Francisco named Jacob, explodes with a furious tirade in the middle of a restaurant. After a much younger gay writer commiserates Joan Didion’s loss of loved ones, Jacob lashes out — he had lost five close friends and a husband in a matter of months during the AIDS epidemic, a dark period that the young writer seemed positively ignorant about.
The scene was semi-autobiographical for Alameddine, who also endured the AIDS crisis in San Francisco. At a restaurant with two friends, Alameddine had an outburst about the videos from the “It Gets Better” campaign aimed at LGBTQ youth.
“I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on,” Alameddine says of this stormy period. Along with the anger, “I started seeing friends who had died 20 years ago, just glimpses. […] I began to understand a lot of my anger was directed at what we’d forgotten,” Alameddine says. “Not just what the world had forgotten, but what I had forgotten.”
Actor Jim Parson has optioned the rights to the memoir Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies written by Michael Ausiello. The memoir chronicles the last months in the life of his partner after a terminal diagnosis of cancer.
Need some holiday gift ideas? Autostraddle has a great list of “8 Soft Femme Memoirs for Your Femme But Not Too Femmey Needs” for the really hard-to-please friend on your list.
In Lithub, Adam Fitzgerald sat down for a series of interviews with the legendary writer Samuel Delany. In the first one in the series, the two discuss the genre of science fiction and the ways readers relate to genre.
In proving that it is never too late to come out, Barbara Hosking, at 91, has penned a memoir which details her work as aide to Harold Wilson and Edward Heath as well as her sexuality.
I didn’t actually realise what I was doing, until it was published. Then one of the committees at the August Reform Club, of which I’m a member, said: “We’d love you to come and give a talk; would you like to do it in Gay Week?” Suddenly I thought, what have I done? [laughs] My joke is: I’ve come out at the age of 91 and if I don’t like it I’m going back in again.
(Image via The San Francisco Chronicle)