An “impulse toward treachery”

November 10, 2009 § Leave a comment

City BoyAt the tail end of the 1980s, shortly after I’d first arrived in New York, an earnest young grad student — straight and more or less straitlaced, all midwestern chirp — I took an administrative job at a midtown office in which the only other employees were two buff and beautiful gay men. AIDS was ravaging the city then. Classmates in my theater program were disappearing with heartbreaking regularity. It was a frightening, dangerous time. But there, in that office, gay New York seemed like one big, wild, raunchy, ridiculously fun party …

Review: “City Boy” by Edmund White (The Barnes & Noble Review)

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It’s a man’s list after all

November 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

They probably saw it coming.

Publishers Weekly is catching some flak for its list of the 10 best books of 2009, all of which were written by men. “We wanted the list to reflect what we thought were the top 10 books of the year with no other consideration,” explains the magazine’s reviews director, Louisa Ermelino, introducing the list, which includes Blake Bailey’s Cheever: A Life, Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply and Neil Sheehan’s A Fiery Peace in a Cold War, among other man-made works. The magazine deliberately ignored gender, she writes, but allows, “It disturbed us when we were done that our list was all male.” …

In the Margin: The Manly Art of List-Making (The Barnes & Noble Review)

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