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 readContinue reading “On the Decentralization of Truth and Memory in Achy Obejas’ [Memory Mambo]”

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

Masculinity in Robert Cormier’s [The Chocolate War]

It’s 1:53 a.m. and I currently can’t sleep because of this book. I was going to wait and write about it in the morning, but I really need to engage in the cathartic process of writing in order to make sense of all of the thoughts that are fireworking in my head. I was expectingContinue reading “Masculinity in Robert Cormier’s [The Chocolate War]”

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

John Barth’s “Lost in the Funhouse”: A Postmodern Critique of the Developmental Narrative

“Lost in the Funhouse” is a short story in John Barth’s book of the same name, originally published in 1968.  The stories within this collection are typically approached as postmodern due to their self-reflexivity, their self-awareness, and their use of self-reference. The short story “Life in the Funhouse,” in particular, is known for its activeContinue reading “John Barth’s “Lost in the Funhouse”: A Postmodern Critique of the Developmental Narrative”

On Asexuality and Kinship: Ellen Wittlinger’s [Hard Love]

Ellen Wittlinger’s Hard Love is at its core a novel about love, but it is quite different from other young adult novels on the subject that were written in the late 1990s. The narrative is centered on John Galardi (known by some as Gio), a junior in a high school who is still haunted by the ghostsContinue reading “On Asexuality and Kinship: Ellen Wittlinger’s [Hard Love]”

On Happy Endings and Gay Fiction: E.M. Forster’s [Maurice]

“A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn’t have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense Maurice and Alec still roam in the greenwood. […] Happiness is its keynote–which byContinue reading “On Happy Endings and Gay Fiction: E.M. Forster’s [Maurice]”

Queer Times: An Analysis of David Levithan’s [Two Boys Kissing]

In the notes and acknowledgments section written at the end of Two Boys Kissing, author David Levithan states that “This isn’t a book I could have written ten years ago” (199). Levithan is absolutely right. Back in 2003, when I was still a sophomore in high school, I could never fathom the possibility of finding aContinue reading “Queer Times: An Analysis of David Levithan’s [Two Boys Kissing]”

Time and Cycles in Michael Cunningham’s [The Hours]

Michael Cunningham’s The Hours barely needs an introduction. Not only was it the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but it is also the source of the Oscar-winning 2002 movie of the same name. Fortunately, I had not seen the movie and I knew very little of the novel’s plot, so I wasContinue reading “Time and Cycles in Michael Cunningham’s [The Hours]”

Growth and Development in Stephen Chbosky’s [The Perks of Being a Wallflower]

Update: The content of this blog post was developed into an academic article that was published by The ALAN Review. I’m thrilled to announce that this article obtained the Nilsen-Donelson award for the best academic article published in 2013. Click on the following link to download a PDF version of the full article: Writing Through Growth, Growth Through Writing:Continue reading “Growth and Development in Stephen Chbosky’s [The Perks of Being a Wallflower]”