Books

ReadOut Shorts: January 2007

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Nobody Passes, Whisper Their Love , Finistère, and How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years: A Memoir

NobodyPassesNobody Passes
Edited by Mattilda, a.k.a. Matt Bernstein Sycamore

Seal Press (www.sealpress.com)
The latter half of this book’s title is Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity.   What a disappointment to find it to be nothing but a collection of people whining because “nobody understands them.” However, nothing is ever wasted—this book serves as the perfect example of how to not address this subject. — Review: Angel Curtis

Whisper Their Love
Valerie Taylor
Arsenal Pulp Press (www.arsenalpulp.com)
Rereading Valerie Taylor’s classic lesbian novel, Whisper Their Love, reminds me how very lucky we are. The pulp publishers of the 1950s required lesbian novels to end in either rescue by an understanding man or death. Somehow, Taylor managed to tell stories within this framework that reflected both actual lesbian experiences and a budding feminist consciousness. Read this book while imagining that this was all you had to read when you were first coming out and you’ll have a better appreciation of what gay liberation really is all about. — Review: Angel Curtis

FritzPetersFinistère
Fritz Peters

Arsenal Pulp Press (www.arsenalpulp.com)
Fritz Peters’ classic gay-boy-coming-of-age novel, Finistère, has been returned to print courtesy of Arsenal Pulp Press. First published in 1951, this book influenced the consciousness of an entire generation trying to deal with the massive social changes resulting from World War II. A poignant story of a young man trying to come to grips with both his sexuality and the complications his sexuality imposes on his relationships, this book ends as required by the early pulp publishers. A major contribution to gay literature, this book should be read by anyone wanting to develop a fuller understanding of gay history and literature. — Review: Angel Curtis

How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years: A Memoir
Kaye Ballard
Watson-Guptill Publications (www.watsonguptill.com)
Kaye Ballard’s memoir of her career in show business is upbeat and gossipy. Through six decades, she has showcased her considerable talents in burlesque, vaudeville, big bands, nightclubs, movies, stage, and TV. She’s been a leading lady on Broadway, a sitcom star, sat with Johnny Carson, subbed for Mike Douglas, appeared with Ed Sullivan, and entertained in countless nightclubs. She’s also been a friend to the some pretty famous celebs, from Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe to Desi Arnaz and Bette Davis. And she even has a few paragraphs on gay men: “I once knew a gay man who was with the infantry during the war and wore false eyelashes into battle!” — Preview: Troy Carrington

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