In Celebration of Pride Month
June is Pride Month! To celebrate, here are some titles we recommend:
Pride Month is observed in June in remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall riots, but contrary to popular notions, today’s LGBT movement did not begin with the Stonewall riots. Long before Stonewall, there was Franklin Kameny (1925–2011), one of the most significant figures in the gay rights movement. In Gay is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny, editor Michael G. Long collects Kameny’s historically rich letters from 1958 to 1975, a critical period in Kameny’s life during which he evolved from a victim of the law to a vocal opponent of the law, to the voice of the law itself. Gay Is Good, which will make its debut in November 2014, pays tribute to an advocate whose tireless efforts created a massive shift in social attitudes and practices, leading the way toward equality for the LGBT community.
James Liddy, author of I Only Know That I Love Strength in My Friends and Greatness, cannot conventionally be categorized, and occasionally he confounds even his own fans. One of Ireland’s foremost poets, he is unabashedly gay and unabashedly Catholic. Liddy’s poetic form is dictated solely by the organic flow of his consciousness, weaving images of religion and sexuality into a drama of beauty, love, and ritual. In this collection, his outsider poetic stance is in no small way connected with his vision of himself as a sexual outlaw. His is a challenging voice in a country where the weight of poetic tradition is heavier than most.
If you wish to know more about James Liddy, you will surely appreciate Honeysuckle, Honeyjuice: A Tribute to James Liddy, edited by Michael S. Begnal. This volume gathers together forty poets, novelists, visual artists, and scholars paying tribute to a poet whose work continues to intrigue and inspire readers on both sides of the Atlantic. For readers unfamiliar with Liddy, it is a unique introduction. For the devotee of Liddy, this book is an indispensable addition to his work and a treasured anthology.
Who Will Die Last: Stories of Life in Israel by David Ehrlich, hilarious and sad at the same time, is an original and moving work of fiction. Ehrlich’s themes relate to gay life in Israel, the pull of loneliness, and the power of community. Ever deeply humane, the author takes his characters on a tantalizing journey through their souls. His understated style transforms even a heartbreaking plot into an uplifting and funny story. Rather than a single translator, this collection employs a variety of translators, reflecting in many ways the luminous diversity of voices in the stories.