Genre: LGBTQQ Literature

Tuesday, September 22, 2015; 9:45am to 12:00N
at the Parker Memorial Library
(28 Arlington Street, Dracut; Telephone: (978-454-5474)

LGBTQQ assignment for September 22, 2015:

Benchmarks: Everyone reads Andre Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name;
Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet; and a memoir: Jennifer Finney Boylan’s She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders.

If you read a fourth title in the LGBTQQ literature—your choice—please post it on our blog. We will not have time to discuss these titles at any length. Suggestions will be listed on the blog.

Appeal to be read for September meeting: Focus on all the appeal factors, but really think about character and interaction with the plot.

RESOURCES: Bosman, Ellen & John P. Bradford. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Literature: A Genre Guide. LU. 2008. pp. 9-24; 27-37; 43-44; 67; 109-110; 135-136; 145-146; 159-161; 177-178; 197-198; 223-224; 239-240; 287-289; 307-309; 323-324.

Words Without Borders publishes a Queer Issue annually. May be of interest to those looking for international LGBTQ writing.
From Diane Giarusso

ARTICLE: Queer Regency Romance: A Chat with Ava March & KJ Charles–Suggested by Meena Jain

NOTES on APPEAL from the 9/22/15 meeting:

Call Me By Your Name by Aciman, André
Appeal Factors: Literary Fiction, Romantic, Suspenseful, Internal struggle, characters have chemistry, unclear frame.
Audience: Strong appeal for lovers of literary fiction and maybe historical fiction.
She’s Not There by Boylan, Jennifer Finney NONFICTION
Appeal Factors: Humorous, reflective of the emotional experience of transitioning, good descriptions of the process, nonfiction that reads like fiction, makes a complex topic approachable, character driven memoir.

​Audience: People transitioning, people trying to come to terms with people in their lives transitioning, fans of Robert Russo.

Tipping the Velvet by Waters, Sarah
Appeal Factors: Historical fiction, authentic setting, unreliable narrator, questions as to the historical attitudes of the characters, romantic vs romantic elements, class issues.
Audience: Historical fiction readers, Literary fiction readers, Lesbian fiction readers.
Submitted by Jim Riordan

Elective Titles

Diane Giarrusso

I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth The Trip. (Audio) – John Donovan
Appeal Factors: Pacing: short chapters, steady pacing, introduction and commentary included; Characterization: Davy is an engaging protagonist, parents are somewhat stock–but not obnoxiously so, Davy’s friendship with Altschuler has authentic ups and downs as they argue and get to know each other; Language/Style: Accessible and authentic language used, if somewhat dated (orig. publ. 1969), NOTE: although not used frequently, the term “queer” and its variations are used by Davy to describe his feelings for Altschuler. Davy usually uses the term with negative pronouns, “buddy love” (as used by the author) is very chaste; Tone/Mood: Honest portrayal of 13 y.o. emotions as he lives through the 2 deaths, moving to live with his mother, and early sexual attraction. Tone feels real and honest. Frame: Davy’s grief over his grandmother and the changes this brings to his life; Storyline: emphasizes Davy’s experiences in a more interior focussed way, there is less action than expression of thoughts and emotion.Audio of the 4oth Anniversary Edition

Brilliance Audio, 2011; 5 hours, 28 minutes
Narration by Michael Urie: Good although I was sometimes put off by his vocal characterization of Davy’s alcoholic and self involved mother which sounded like the stereotype of a gay man acting like a woman. Other vocal characterizations were distinct enough to recognize each character.

In general, I love this book for the way it was so carefully and naturally written. There is not a false note in this book! It’s not even the plot that I care about, it’s the authenticity and care with which Donovan created and presented his characters that floors me and makes me want to hug this book. I’m so glad that Ursula Nordstrom published and championed this book.

Leane Ellis

The Manservant – Michael Harwood
Appeal Factors: Fast-paced; Downton Abbey era; witty and erotic

Definitely meant to entertain, this is a rollicking erotic tale of a gay escort at a London hotel who becomes a butler and companion to a British lord. When the Lady of the manor returns to the castle, his relationship with the lord results in complications for everyone.  As the LJ review states: “This breezy debut confection is Downton Abbey as seen through the gimlet eyes of Thomas Barrow and will help while away that next afternoon you’re awaiting your fitting at Gieves & Hawkes.”  For the most part, this first person narrative moves quickly but is uneven in its writing swinging from clever to cliché.  Red flags: vulgar language and sadomasochism.  This would appeal to those wanting a quick sexy gay diversion.  I cannot see this gaining classic status.


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