Literature

Self-help books

Publishing yourself through the slush pile of Joe Shmuck and friends
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ISBN REAL In a recent, much-discussed Washington Post op-ed, Twelve publisher Jonathan Karp said, "There are thousands of independent publishers and even more self-publishers. These players will soon have the same access to readers as major publishers do, once digital distribution and print-on-demand technology enter the mainstream. Read more »

Speed Reading

Baldwin's Harlem: A Biography Of James Baldwin
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BALDWIN'S HARLEM: A BIOGRAPHY OF JAMES BALDWIN

By Herb Boyd

Atria

272 pages

$24

Herb Boyd's Baldwin's Harlem is a successful primer on James Baldwin's work and a well-researched travelogue through the history of ever-changing Harlem. But it's also something more.

When Boyd, an accomplished journalist for the Amsterdam News in Harlem, was approached to write a biography of a native son and his native soil, it probably seemed like an apt placement. Read more »

Beyong the nerd herd

Ta-Nehisi Coates charts a Beautiful Struggle
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

REVIEW Amid impoverished rural segregation, my parents were part of the first bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. While my father studied Frantz Fanon and tae kwan do in Okinawa, my mother went on to be a probation officer in Los Angeles during the Watts riots. I was born in a riot-torn Washington, DC, around the time my father helped take over the administration offices of Howard University. Read more »

Speed Reading

Fashion: A Philosophy tumbles on the runway
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FASHION: A PHILOSOPHY

By Lars Svendsen

Reaktion Books

188 pages

$24.95

As a once and future dandy, I've noted the growing field of fashion philosophy. In the realm of the academy, the idea of a unified theory of style has become something of a holy grail. Read more »

Flight or write

Sense and sensitivity in Horacio Castellanos Moya's Senselessness
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

"The moment one learns English, complications set in," wrote Spanish ex-pat Felipe Alfau, in English, beginning his 1948 novel Chromos (first published in 1990). Learning English, he wrote, "far from increasing [one's] understanding of life, if this were possible, only renders it hopelessly muddled and obscure." While this might be true of learning any new language — one starts to see how words simply refer to other words — we might say the same about literature. Read more »

Glamazonia in "Portal Potty"

Superhero tranny gets flushed back into the '70s!
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Speed Reading

The Queer Issue: My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy
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MY MISERABLE, LONELY, LESBIAN PREGNANCY

By Andrea Askowitz

Cleis Press

241 pages

$14.95

My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy is a bracingly frank and exhaustively detailed tour of lesbian single-motherhood, written as a more or less straightforward journal of the weeks leading up to conception and birth. Read more »

Magazinester

The Queer Issue: Romping through a gay pornocopia
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Oooh! Lookee up here, on the dirty gay porn rag shelf. Past the Out, featuring a very strange half-naked photospread "dedicated to the memory of Georgia O'Keefe" — think nipply model and cow skulls — and The Advocate, giving you full-on yawnsville with ho-hum marriage and "reality gays" stories. Past Genre's insectoid white boy snaked in the Stars-and-Stripes cover and Instinct's insightful "Exposed! Read more »

Tell it like it is

Samuel R. Delany, science fiction writer and tea-room queer
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ISBN REAL Samuel R. Delany is best known as a science fiction writer. And it's a good bet that once people see the documentary The Polymath, or The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman — screening this week at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival — Delany will be equally well known as a prolific tea-room queer (50,000 and counting), a lifestyle that has informed much of his fiction. By all rights, either of these enthusiasms should provide the best inroad to Delany's work. Read more »

Speed Reading

Putting the XO in Botox: Go Fug Yourself Presents the Fug Awards and Beautiful Children
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GO FUG YOURSELF PRESENTS THE FUG AWARDS

By Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Simon Spotlight Entertainment

268 pages

$29.95

Dear Diary: I wanted to like Go Fug Yourself Presents the Fug Awards. Really, I did. Read more »