Magazine article American Libraries

Out of the Closet and into the Forum

Magazine article American Libraries

Out of the Closet and into the Forum

Article excerpt

It's been only five years since ALA last met in San Francisco, the city that in the popular minds is the gayest--and lesbianes!--in the country, maybe the world. Meanwhile, however, something momentous has happened within the aspects of gay and lesbian culture that most affects libraries, which is its literature. The uniqueness, loneliness, and angst of being homosexual used to be a major, maybe even the major, theme of gay writing.

Gathering strength during the last five years, a new main theme has emerged: how gay men and lesbian fit--into their families, their communities, and the world. That concern figures in each of the outstanding books in this list, and it will be a focus of the Boolist Adult Editorial Forum, "Part of the Family: Gay and Lesbian Literature in the Mainstream," 2-4 p.m., Saturday, June 27, during the San Francisco Annual Conference. Several of the authors of these titles will participate in the forum.

Allison, Dorothy. Bastard out of Carolina.

Dutton, 1992, $20 (0-525-93425-1).

Ruth Anne "Bone" Boatwright was born illegitimately into a family the rest of her town calls "poor white trash." She grows to puberty having to endure a lascivious stepfather, benefitting from the indomitability of the family women, but learning that her southern surroundings are probably too narrow for her.

Bechdel, Alison. Dykes to Watch out for: The

Sequel. Firebrand, 1992, paper, $8.95 (1-56341-008-7).

This is the fourth collection of cartoonist Bechdel's comic strip about the all-too-real life adventures of a politically hip, culturally diverse, smart, and funny set of urban lesbians. Superbly drawn and intelligently written, "Dykes" just may be the best comic serial going. "Mary Worth" is no match, that's for sure.

Bram, Christopher. Almost History. Donald I.

Fine, 1992, $22,50 (1-55611-231-9).

Bram's big fourth novel embraces more than 30 years in the life of career State Department diplomat Jom Goodall, gay but without sexual experience until he's 40-something. Posted twice to the Philippines, he eventually gets his chance at affecting history, but perhaps his efforts are more a matter of history affecting him. Treading upon territory previously the domain of John O'Hara and Ward Just, Bram opens up new, international vistas for gay novelists.

Kinnard, Rupert. B.B. and the Diva. Alyson

1992, paper, $6.95 (1-55583-134-6). …

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