Gay & Lesbian
Men at Their Most Passionate
Best Gay Romance 2009 is short fiction at its finest on the subject of love--first love, true love, and love everlasting (with makeup sex, wake-up sex, and everything in between).
The romantic possibilities range from a surprising encounter between two blue-collar buddies to a brief airport rendezvous that become something more, and a reminder to us all that it is never too late for love. A self-confessed true romantic, Richard Labonté has gathered a sensational collection of stories about finding love at home, at work, at any age, and often, in the most unexpected places.
With a voice that is both sophisticated and deeply Southern, first-time author John Rowell evokes the memory of the great Truman Capote in this wonderful collection of short stories, peopled with unforgettable, endearing characters and filled with wry insights.
Drawn from the emotional well of a young man who grew up in love with the glittery, glamorous world of music and movies and theater -- far removed from his own more prosaic life in North Carolina -- and informed with honesty and compassion, the seven short stories that comprise The Music of Your Life mark the impressive debut of a remarkably gifted writer.
Compulsively readable and always accessible, each story takes the reader into the mind and heart of its central character, whether a young boy suffering from Lawrence Welk damage and teetering precariously on the edge of puberty ("The Music of Your Life") or a not-so-young-anymore man for whom fantasy and reality have become a terrifying blur and who finds himself slipping over the edge toward total meltdown ("Wildlife of Coastal Carolina").
Nostalgia plays a part in these stories as a somewhat jaded New York film critic looks back on his life and the movies that shaped him ("Spectators in Love"), and an aging flower-shop owner ruefully assesses the love he found and lost when, as an eighteen-year-old, he embarked on a Hollywood career that never soared but did include one particularly memorable appearance on the I Love Lucy television show ("Who Loves You?").
Sex and sexual identity are also major factors in these stories, as a choir director finds one of his altos trying to play matchmaker for him with a recent divorcée ("Saviors"), and a group of forty-something men find themselves in the awkward company of a lusty bunch of twenty-somethings ("Delegates") and reflect on how surely they were never that age.
These stories, along with "The Mother-of-the-Groom and I," a wonderfully wry look at a failed New York actor who has come home for his brother's wedding and who is given the task of helping his mother find the proper dress for the event, all create entire worlds within which the characters live and struggle to find their way.
Funny, touching, serious, and tender, these are tales sure to appeal to anyone who has ever known the awkwardness of being "different," and while life is often harsh for the stories' characters, the bold determination with which they persevere offers inspiration to all. Crafted with affecting sincerity, The Music of Your Life marks the beginning of what is certain to be an extraordinary career.
Boston real estate agent William Collins knows that his habits are slipping out of control. Due to obsessive-compulsive daily cleaning binges and a penchant for nightly online cruising for hookups, he finds his sales figures slipping despite a booming market. There's also his ongoing struggle to collect the rent from his passive-aggressive tenant and his worries about his best friend, Edward, whom he's certainly not in love with. Just as he decides to do something about his life, he meets Charlotte and Samuel, wealthy suburbanites looking for the perfect city apartment. "Happy couple," he writes in his notes. "Maybe I can learn something from them." What he ultimately discovers challenges his own assumptions about real estate, love, and desire; and what they learn from him might unravel a budding friendship, not to mention a very promising sale.
Full of crackling dialogue delivered by a stellar ensemble of players, Alternatives to Sex is a smart, hilarious chronicle of life in post-traumatic, morally ambiguous America -- where the desire to do good is constantly being tripped up by the need to feel good. Right now.
Chris Desmereaux, college graduate and single mother of two, staring down the food stamp line, looking for love, compassion, and stability, is unaware that she has just been awarded her own personal advanced ghetto degree the day Gayle Evans finds her personal ad in the paper -- and answers it.
Gayle Evans, toe-tapping, knee-slapping, make-you-wanna-holla Minister of Music with a divine gift from God. "Praise the Lord" is her mantra. Macking women is her game. Destroying every life she touches, Gayle brings more misery than harmony. She has a lesson or two to learn after she uses her "relationship with God" to break up a seemingly happy home.
Alternately set in Washington, D.C. and Memphis, Tennessee, Fire & Brimstone is an "in your face" tale that explores lesbianism and Black motherhood as both separate and integrated issues impacting the main character's role as a single parent, while opening dialogue on same-sex domestic violence, religious beliefs, bisexuality, negligent fathers, economics, and intra-racial caste systems among African-Americans. Depending on one's beliefs and opinions, Fire & Brimstone leaves no room for "in-between" emotions, leading the reader to ultimately draw his or her own conclusion as to what the ending actually means: Is homosexuality a sin, or does God love us as we are?
The author reminds us that gay women are everywhere, even in the African-American church -- a place where no one expects to find them.
Fire & Brimstone does an excellent job of testing the boundaries of 21st century morality.
In Fire & Brimstone, Laurinda D. Brown began the turbulent love story of Chris and Gayle, two women struggling with finding comfort in each other and in themselves while teetering on the verge of self-destruction. Chris Desmereaux and Gayle Evans. Two women. Two mothers. Two lovers testing the boundaries of 21st century morality with two lives torn between different ideas of right and wrong.
Now in UnderCover, the author expands the story, introducing Nathaniel, the monogamous lover of Patrick, a high roller at the Memphis nightclub where Nathaniel transforms himself into a female diva before a standing-room-only crowd until Patrick breaks his heart. Devastated by his lover's rejection, Nathaniel leaves his flamboyant former life behind and reinvents himself yet again.
This time it's Nathaniel, the committed family man -- a loving husband to his wife, devoted father to his three children, and brother-in-law to Chris. Patrick is a distant, still-seductive memory?until financial woes force Nathaniel to return to his old fast-money way of life. This fateful decision culminates in exposure -- and Nathaniel's subsequent downward spiral. Domestic crises abound as Nathaniel struggles with painful issues surrounding his sexual identity, and he must face the ultimate truth about himself in a harrowing climax. UnderCover is a powerhouse novel by a gifted storyteller.
Your favorite Queer as Folk characters take you along on their youthful journey of sexual self-discovery in a new line of books based on the record-breaking Showtime series hailed as "fiercely realistic" by The New York Times. USA Today raves, "There's never been anything else like it on TV."
Never Tear Us Apart
They've been to the prom and signed the yearbooks. Now Brian and Michael are apart for the first time since grade school. Brian's soccer scholarship takes him to Carnegie-Mellon where he finds that he's a fresh -- if not a small -- fish in a big new pond. Meanwhile Michael, Deb, and Uncle Vic embark on the annual Novotny family vacation in the Poconos, where Michael makes some "new" friends. When the trip is cut short because Vic doesn't feel well, Michael learns that his uncle has AIDS and that their family must come together more closely than ever. Soon classes begin for both boys, and new passions and adventures put their friendship to the test. Lindsay, a pretty, talented art major at Carnegie-Mellon, is quickly becoming a fixture in Brian's life, and Emmett, whom Michael met at Babylon, becomes a good friend outside the club too. As sex becomes more than experimentation for both, Brian and Michael struggle with jealousy, homophobia, the realities of HIV, and finding a place of their own as they find their way back to each other.
This popular new line of books follows your favorite Queer as Folk characters on a riveting journey of sexual self-discovery with stories about the beloved characters from the record-breaking Showtime series. USA Today raves, "There's never been anything else like it on TV" -- and there's never been a book series like this.
Life after college brings a lot more freedom -- and a lot of new problems. Brian must trade his status as BMOC for the bottom rung of the corporate ladder, while Michael, who has long given up on college, now wonders if he's also given up on his dreams. Emmett visits Pittsburgh to celebrate the spectacular launch of his fashion marketing company in Los Angeles (or so everyone thinks), while Deb adds gay rights advocacy to her juggling act of working at the diner and taking care of her ailing brother, Vic. Like Lindsay -- who experiences life as a struggling artist and true love for the first time -- Deb's about to get more than she bargained for. Add in a secret romance, sexually charged office politics, an over-the-top drag ball, and the arrival of new friends and lovers, and our little gang is tested enough to qualify for postgraduate credit. More than ever before, Michael and Brian find their friendship challenged. As their choices tear them apart, Brian sees that it's Michael he's always loved, and that he always will. But will he tell him before it's too late?
Before they were grown men working and playing in Pittsburgh, Brian Kinney and Michael Novotny were high-school friends dealing with bullies, secret crushes, and their emerging sexuality. Step back in time with two of Queer as Folk's hottest characters in the first book in this provocative new series.
On the eve of Brian Kinney's eighteenth birthday, he and his best friend, Michael Novotny, celebrate a bond that could link them forever if their future paths don't separate them for good. In a few short weeks Brian, the seductive soccer star, will leave for college, where he'll be free to explore the adult pursuits in which he's only dabbled in high school. Michael is destined for a more sedate life in community college while living at home with his eccentric mom. But before their lives diverge, a hot new club will open, they'll go to the prom "stag" together, and family strife will turn their world upside down. Brian and Michael still have some unforgettable times to share before graduation ushers in the next stages of their lives.
As such literary movements as interstitial and slipstream gain momentum, more and more authors interweave their traditional stories with gay themes as coming out, homophobia, and self-as-other, with a bit of the strange and weird. Named after one of the founding fathers of gay speculative fiction, Wilde Stories is a new annual anthology that offers readers the best of such stories from the prior year. Editor Steve Berman, a finalist for both the Lambda Literary and Andre Norton Awards, has collected an engaging selection of the fantastical, the strange, and the scary from such notable authors as Victor J. Banis, Hal Duncan and Lee Thomas.
There are countless works of interest to gay men in print right now--anthologies, novels, memoirs, and more. It is a reflection of progress that there is such an openly recognizable culture. Yet how to make sense of the choices offered? What do gay men need to read? What books have shaped the gay heart, mind, and soul?
The Gay Canon gives its readers answers to these questions. Not only does it list the one hundred great gay books that have influenced writers and continue to shape the gay imagination, it also provides a deeper, more comprehensive look at the twenty-six most seminal works, each of which is followed by a series of useful group discussion questions. Reaching all the way back to Gilgamesh and continuing through classics like Leaves of Grass, Confessions of a Mask, and The Wild Boys, as well as more recent books like Borrowed Time, The Gay Canon consistently avoids impenetrable academic literary criticism in favor of a more popular introduction for general readers and book groups.
The Gay Canon is a book to give to any young man just coming out, a book every gay reading group will want to rely on, and--most important--a book that will enrich and improve the gay story that continues to be written.
John Boswell's National Book Award-winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church's past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published twenty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell's research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, still fiercely relevant today, helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.
"What makes this work so exciting is not simply its content—fascinating though that is—but its revolutionary challenge to some of Western culture's most familiar moral assumptions."—Jean Strouse, Newsweek
Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to the Mid-Twentieth Century is a comprehensive and fascinating survey of the key figures in gay and lesbian history from classical times to the mid-twentieth century. Among those included are:
* Classical heroes - Achilles; Aeneas; Ganymede
* Literary giants - Sappho; Christopher Marlowe; Arthur Rimbaud; Oscar Wilde
* Royalty and politicians - Edward II; King James I; Horace Walpole; Michel de Montaigne.
Over the course of some 500 entries, expert contributors provide a complete and vivid picture of gay and lesbian life in the Western world throughout the ages.