Don’t Hide Your Pride (and Prejudice): The Gay-ification of Jane Austen in Fire Island

Some might offer the idea that Jane Austen was already the pinnacle of gay. What with all of her main characters forced to stifle their true desires and feelings due to the pressures of a subjugating society that not only looked down upon the free expression of sexuality, but especially the free expression of sexuality on the part of women. Who might end up “making … Continue reading Don’t Hide Your Pride (and Prejudice): The Gay-ification of Jane Austen in Fire Island

The Weightiness of a “Small” Event: Annie Ernaux’s L’événement

Maybe there’s a reason you can’t spell “foetus” without “foe.” At least not in British English. In any case, Annie Ernaux must have feared on some level that future generations would need a reminder of how harrowing life in a country where abortion is outlawed can be. Women of the present might have grown accustomed to the apparent “luxury” of having access to a safe, … Continue reading The Weightiness of a “Small” Event: Annie Ernaux’s L’événement

New Mexico Finally Gets a Hardboiled Detective in Max Talley’s Santa Fe Psychosis

When it comes to the noir genre as it pertains to place, perhaps one still immediately thinks of Raymond Chandler and his macabre view of Los Angeles as seen through the lens of Philip Marlowe. Then, of course, there’s always the archetypal curmudgeonly detective of the East Coast, usually (and vexingly) based in New York. But few authors, if any, have dared to set their … Continue reading New Mexico Finally Gets a Hardboiled Detective in Max Talley’s Santa Fe Psychosis

They Don’t Build Statues of Critics…Just Mansplainers: On White Men Feeling the Need to Chime in About Statues of Literary Critics When a Girl Just Wants to Have Fun

Charli XCX is finally having a moment. Or, at least, a moment that’s more in the mainstream than ever before. This being a result of her push to become a Right Proper Pop Star by fully utilizing all the major resources of her juggernaut label, Atlantic, to promote her last album of the contract, Crash (an erudite J. G. Ballard reference, in case you didn’t … Continue reading They Don’t Build Statues of Critics…Just Mansplainers: On White Men Feeling the Need to Chime in About Statues of Literary Critics When a Girl Just Wants to Have Fun

Bath Haus Asks the Question: Aren’t Gay Sugar Daddies the Ultimate Villain?

P. J. Vernon has perhaps done the previously unthinkable: set himself apart from the usual mold of gay fiction with his sophomore novel, Bath Haus. Unlike more recent efforts in the gay male genre, namely Jonathan Parks-Ramage’s Yes, Daddy, inexplicably praised with generic words like “propulsive” and “ambitious” (sort of a polite way of saying that the ambition was not achieved), Bath Haus turns expectation on its ear through a thriller … Continue reading Bath Haus Asks the Question: Aren’t Gay Sugar Daddies the Ultimate Villain?

It’s Not the Internet, It’s You: Fake Accounts

Being meta is pretty much essential to the twenty-first century “novel.” So is exhibiting signs of “immediate retromania.” In the case of Fake Accounts (a non-risqué double entendre of a title), that means taking us “all the way back” to the Women’s March that transpired on Donald Trump’s inauguration day in 2017. As Lauren Oyler’s debut, Fake Accounts firmly establishes her place in the usual insular “New York … Continue reading It’s Not the Internet, It’s You: Fake Accounts

Women Posing As Men Posing As Women

As recently as this year, a movie was released with a preproduction backstory that included how the female director considered submitting the script under a male pen name. Lisa Joy, the writer in question of Reminiscence, feared that because of her gender, she wouldn’t be taken seriously in the “action” genre. Naturally, her attempts to “prove herself” as a woman in the male-dominated category failed spectacularly … Continue reading Women Posing As Men Posing As Women

The Library and Literature of Gunpowder Milkshake

There are few movies that make libraries “sexy” (or even use libraries at all for that matter). Certainly not The Pagemaster. Maybe Funny Face. But with Navot Papushado’s latest film, Gunpowder Milkshake, the cachet of the library might just get a brief defibrillation (because Ghostbusters and The Day After Tomorrow certainly did not make the library look inviting, nor did Sex and the City: The Movie with Carrie and her dramatic “left at the … Continue reading The Library and Literature of Gunpowder Milkshake

Yes, Daddy Is A No

In 2005, a “trick” movie called Self Medicated was released. “Trick” not meaning prostitute, so much as deception. Jonathan Parks-Ramage’s Yes, Daddy, in some sense, feels like that movie. It’s marketed as being “raw” and “unbridled,” when, in fact, it’s all ultimately a bid to get people to see the “good” in Christianity (or at least Christian principles)—no matter how many times it (and life) fucks you over. … Continue reading Yes, Daddy Is A No

2012 and Alcoholism Survivor Support Group: Megan Nolan’s Acts of Desperation

Like her main character, Megan Nolan feels bad. Bad that she couldn’t have offered a “cheerier” book, perhaps, to the masses–but most especially bad for those in her hometown of Waterford, Ireland, which also cameos in what, for some, might be an all too recognizable tale. Aptly called Acts of Desperation. A title, in fact, that makes one marvel at how no author ever thought … Continue reading 2012 and Alcoholism Survivor Support Group: Megan Nolan’s Acts of Desperation