Justin Torres on the ‘We the Animals’ Film Adaptation, ‘Nanette’ the Book, and More LGBTQ News
Author: Brian Gentes
August 26, 2018
Recently in LGBTQ news…
Rigoberto González spoke with Justin Torres for NBC News about “the state of Latino literature, his current role as an academic, and the excitement around the film version of his beloved debut novel,” We the Animals. About the film, Torres says:
A spark of recognition can help if you’re feeling isolated in your struggle, sure, and I hope for that reason, the film connects with audiences who rarely get to see characters like themselves in film.
But I suppose beyond that, my greatest ambition, my wildest hope is that someone leaves the theater determined to take whatever struggle, whatever hurt, they have on their hands and mold it into art, beauty, a meaning that can be shared.
Megh Wright at Vulture reports that “Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby [is following] up the surprised success of her Netflix special Nanette by writing” a memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette, which will be published next year in Australia. More about the book (to which Ballantine has acquired US rights):
In the vein of David Sedaris, Hannah’s memoir is a string of stories that draws together the varied funny and sometimes dark events of her life, compelling readers to understand the damage society can visit upon those (like Hannah) who find themselves on the outside.
At Out, Aaron Hicklin remembers Felice Picano’s 1979 novel The Lure. “Published hard on the heels of Faggots, Dancer From the Dance, and Edmund White’s Nocturnes for the King of Naples,” The Lure, which Hicklin describes as a “deliciously lurid tale of a serial killer stalking the gay nightclubs of New York City,” transcended the “barriers between gay and straight readers,” hitting the bestseller lists and becoming “the first queer novel to make the […] Book of the Month Club.” If you’ve never read it, it’s in print from Bold Strokes Books.
The inimitable Patti Smith has written an essay for the introduction to a new edition of Jean Genet’s The Thief’s Journal, and you can read it now at The Paris Review. The new edition is coming later this month from Grove Atlantic.
Payag Habagatan, “a countercanonical literary journal of contemporary literatures from the southern Philippines,” is accepting submissions for its Special Issue on Transgender Writings and Art. More information and guidelines are available on their site here. The deadline is October 30.
David McReynolds, peace activist, writer, and photographer, and the first openly gay candidate for president, died on Friday in New York. He was 88.
Rest in peace, David and John.
James Baldwin’s only children’s book, Little Man, Little Man, has long been out of print, but is being republished in a new edition by Duke University Press. As Alexandra Alter writes in The New York Times:
When Little Man, Little Man was first published in 1976, critics didn’t know what to make of an experimental, enigmatic picture book that straddled the line between children’s and adult literature. It received lukewarm reviews and quickly went out of print.
Now, roughly four decades later, Baldwin’s relatives have resurrected the work, with a new edition from Duke University Press, and it could scarcely be more timely.
Poet Jennifer Bartlett and Peter Catapano, editor of The New York Times’s Opinion series “Disability,“ have put together a digital chapbook of work by poets with disabilities, including several LGBTQ poets, alongside illustrations provided by LAND Studio & Gallery in Brooklyn.
“Viewfinding,” a large-scale public sculpture by Brooklyn-based artist Sarah E. Brook that features the work of 26 LGBTQ poets will be installed in New York City’s Riverside Park (near 67th Street) from September 9, 2018 – September 22, 2019. A reading by the participating poets and an artist talk will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the sculpture site. Check out the poet’s site for more information.
In more poetry news, Jesse Lichtenstein writes in The Atlantic about “how poetry came to matter again,” and the “young generation of artists [that] is winning prizes, acclaim, and legions of readers while exploring identity in new ways,” including Kaveh Akbar, Chen Chen, and others.
Looking for a new read? Check out Judith Utz’s list of the 12 Best Queer Books to Finish Your Summer Right at The Mary Sue. Or head over to the New York Public Library’s site for librarian Gwen Glazer’s list of “great YA romance novels that feature epic first kisses” for those who loved The Miseducation of Cameron Post. (But as Gwen says, “if you haven’t read Cameron Post yet: Run, do not walk, to your local library).
Photo: Justin Torres via NBC News