ReadOut Shorts: September 2008

SexVariantSex Variant Woman:
The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster

Joanne Passet

Da Capo Press (
Literate lesbians of a certain age remember when Sex Variant Women in Literature was the light in our reading wilderness. There, in one place, was a compilation of centuries of western literature with lesbian themes. Not only does this biography let us see what a true labor of love this crucial volume was, it is a visit to old home week, containing stories of the women who worked so hard to get our community started. I found this superbly written volume to be a true cover- to-cover read. — Review: Angel Curtis

Satyr Square
Leonard Barkan

Northwestern University Press (
Like the opera, Shakespeare, and wine that he loves, Barkan’s memoir is layered with images, flavors, and repeating themes. He spent a year in Rome researching Renaissance appropriation of ancient art while navigating loneliness and relationship in a foreign language. The result is a lovely book full of humor and poignancy. Readers familiar with Don Giovanni and/or The Merchant of Venice will doubtlessly enjoy it all the more (but a passing familiarity will do). — Review: Neil Ellis Orts

QueerSexLifeQueersexlife: Autobiographical Notes
on Sexuality, Gender & Identity

Terry Goldie

Arsenal Pulp Press (
This memoir combines queer theory, covering gender and sexuality with autobiography. While heavily theoretical, academic writing makes queersexlife a difficult read, this book should be required reading for all Queer Studies courses and those seeking to better understand “the personal is political.” Kudos to Goldie for his ability to examine his own life with the detachment necessary to see how it fits into current theory. — Review: A.C.

Hungry for It
Fiona Zedde

Kensington (
Remi is beautiful, wealthy, and popular with all the ladies. While attending her best friend’s wedding, she rediscovers her early passion for said friend’s mother and decides to do something about it. Set in Miami, this is a visit to the hottest nightspots and coolest women around. It’s been a long time since a novel about lesbian romance and sex this good was published. Don’t miss it. — Review: A.C.

BroadwayHistoric Photos of Broadway:
New York Theater, 1850–1970

Leonard Jacobs

Turner Publishing (
Image and text are blended deliciously in Historic Photos of Broadway to provide a look back at the world’s “most storied dramatic community.” The illuminating text is provided by Leonard Jacobs, national theater editor for Back Stage, and the images have been selected from one of the country’s most extensive theatrical archives: The Billy Rose Theater Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Whew! That said, just know that you’ll enjoy revisiting everyone from the “Divine” Sarah Bernhardt (who offstage slept in a coffin) all the way up to the original cast of Hair, who likely slept in nothing. — Review: Jack Varsi


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