In Their Own Words
Hillary Clinton: In Her Own Words (Seal, 2014), edited by Lisa Rogak, contains more than 300 quotations from Secretary of State (as well as New York Senator and former First Lady), and possible 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, on a vast array of topics including “Gay Rights and Marriage,” “How People Perceive Her,” “America’s Role in the World,” “Her Daughter” (Chelsea),” “Gun Control,” “Women’s Rights,” “Her Personality” and “The Kind of President She’d Be,” to mention a few.
Gay poet Richard Blanco became a household name, a feat not accomplished by many poets, reading his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s second inauguration in January 2013. In his Miami-set memoir The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood (Ecco, 2014), Blanco employs lyrical prose to tell his story.
The posthumously published Glow: The Autobiography of Rick James (Atria, 2014) by the late Rick James with David Ritz, hits shelves 10 years after James’ passing. The man remembered as much for songs such as “Superfreak,” “You And I,” and “Give It To Me Baby,” as he is for his purported last words, has his say in this book.
A View From the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation (Duke, 2014) by Nguyen Tan Hoang examines “portrayals of Asian and Asian American men in Hollywood cinema, European art film, gay porn” and more.
With contributions by Jeff Mann, Rob Rosen, Simon Sheppard, as well as the anthology’s editor Shane Allison, and more than a dozen other writers, Men On The Make: True Gay Sex Confessions (Cleis, 2014), compiles titillating and true hook-up tails, uh, tales.
A massive and thorough tome, with lined pages for readers’ notes, Male Sex Work and Society (Harrington Park Press, 2014), edited by Victor Minichiello and John Scott, features essays such as “Representation of Male Sex Work in Film,” “Advertising Male Sexual Services” and “Clients of Male Sex Workers,” to name just a few.
Though written for our hetero brothers and sisters, much of the advice offered in How To Woo a Jew: The Modern Jewish Guide to Dating and Mating (Seal, 2014) by JDate columnist Tamar Caspi, with the necessary pronoun adjustments, could apply to same sex Kosher coupling as well.
(Gay) Geography Lessons
Filmmaker, monologist, writer and pop culture icon John Waters extends his thumb and hits the road for his own personal odyssey in Carsick (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014), in which he hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco, encountered an assortment of drivers willing to stop, pick him up and get him to his next destination.
Edmund White’s 1980 non-fiction book States of Desire, which received high praise from Christopher Isherwood, Fran Lebowitz and Andrew Holleran upon its publication, has been reissued in an expanded edition as States of Desire Revisited: Travels in Gay America (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014), and includes a new introduction written by White.
Words and Pictures
Children’s books have a unique way of combining text and images to get stories and messages across to readers (of all ages). Gay cabaret artist Craig Pomranz, “inspired by a true-life incident,” wrote Made By Raffi (Frances Lincoln, 2014), with illustrations by Margaret Chamberlain, to introduce us to “different” little boy Raffi, who prefers knitting to kicking a ball.
Story/Time: The Life of An Idea (Princeton University Press, 2014) by Bill T. Jones is the “printed artifact of three Toni Morrison Lectures” given by the gay choreographer at Princeton. Containing original short stories, as well as 16 pages of photographs, the book provides additional insight into the multi-award winning artist’s creative process and genius.
No Biz Like Showbiz
The prolific Lisa Rogak (see Hillary Clinton above) shifts gears in Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart (Thomas Dunne, 2014), her thoughtful biography of the actor/comedian/director/writer, longtime friend of the LGBT community, and Daily Show mainstay.
In Tradition!: The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World’s Most Beloved Musical (St. Martin’s Press, 2014), Barbara Isenberg traces the show’s evolution from concept to stage to screen and back to stage again.
Spanning the band’s 35 year career, from its religious roots to its outspoken political nature and its multi-platinum recording history film and music journalist John Jobling tackles the task of writing the unauthorized U2 bio in U2: The Definitive Biography (Thomas Dunne, 2014).
By Gregg Shapiro