Queer Resistance in Rita Mae Brown’s [Rubyfruit Jungle]

If you want to get a sense of the views and attitudes that permeated lesbian life soon after the gay rights movement, this is the book you are searching for. Originally published in 1973, Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle is approached by many readers as the quintessential lesbian coming-out and coming-of-age novel. It centers on the growth … Continue reading Queer Resistance in Rita Mae Brown’s [Rubyfruit Jungle]

Space and Masculinity in James Baldwin’s [Giovanni’s Room]

Originally published in 1954, James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room was not only one of the first novels to tackle issues of same-sex desire with heart and honesty, but it was also a text that prompted frank discussions of homosexuality within the public sphere. The narrative focuses on the experiences of David, an American who moves to Paris in … Continue reading Space and Masculinity in James Baldwin’s [Giovanni’s Room]

The Role of Gender and Literature in Alison Bechdel’s [Fun Home]

Originally published in 2006, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a graphic memoir that led Alison Bechdel to commercial and critical success. Reminiscent of Art Spiegelman's Maus, Fun Home explores the relationship between Alison and her closeted father, Bruce Bechdel, to shed light on themes such as gender, the coming-out process, and the complicated dynamics of family life. The exploration … Continue reading The Role of Gender and Literature in Alison Bechdel’s [Fun Home]

Connection Failed: An Analysis of Christopher Isherwood’s [A Single Man]

Failure is found at the heart of many great works of fiction. It is a common motif used to spark an emotional connection, sympathy, and at times, anger. Failure is not only the heart of Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man--is also the blood, the flesh, and the soul of this novel. Centered on a single day … Continue reading Connection Failed: An Analysis of Christopher Isherwood’s [A Single Man]

On the Decentralization of Truth and Memory in Achy Obejas’ [Memory Mambo]

Achy Obejas' Lambda Award-winning novel, Memory Mambo, is a text that simmers and lingers within the mind long after it is read. I initially decided to read this novel because it centers on the life of a Cuban-American lesbian who administrates a laundry service in the Midwest, however, it is a much more complex and rich read … Continue reading On the Decentralization of Truth and Memory in Achy Obejas’ [Memory Mambo]

Gender and Non-Normativity in Jeanette Winterson’s [Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit]

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (henceforth OANOF) is a 1985 Bildungsroman (novel of development) centered on the life of Jeanette, a girl who is adopted and raised by a woman who happens to be a fundamentalist Christian. Jeanette's mother believes in literal translations of the Bible, and she freely uses religious rhetoric to accommodate her black and … Continue reading Gender and Non-Normativity in Jeanette Winterson’s [Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit]

J.C. Lillis’ [How to Repair a Mechanical Heart]: A Gay YA Novel on Fandom, Religion, and Canonicity

If there is one thing that gay young adult fiction should be thankful for, that thing would be the internet. Because of the advent of the web, we have witnessed the increase of self-published e-novels distributed through online stores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Self-publishing, in my opinion, greatly expands the possibilities of … Continue reading J.C. Lillis’ [How to Repair a Mechanical Heart]: A Gay YA Novel on Fandom, Religion, and Canonicity

On YA Fiction with Gay Latino Characters: Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Words were different when they lived inside of you. - Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (p. 31) A few years ago, I wrote a short essay that was published in the Changing Lives, Changing Minds blogs managed by UMass Dartmouth regarding the importance of young adult literature in my personal and … Continue reading On YA Fiction with Gay Latino Characters: Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Knowledge, Postmodernity, and Bisexual Love Triangles: Bret Easton Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction

"No one will ever know anyone. We just have to deal with each other. You're not ever gonna know me." "What in the hell does that mean?" I ask. "It just means you're not ever gonna know me," he says. "Figure it out. Deal with it." - Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction (p. 252) What does it … Continue reading Knowledge, Postmodernity, and Bisexual Love Triangles: Bret Easton Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction