What is Gay Literature? The Case of Colm Tóibín’s [The Blackwater Lightship]

Jeanette Winterson, author of the celebrated novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, takes a rather defensive stance when asked if she considers Oranges to be a lesbian novel. She explicitly addresses this question in her personal website by answering it in the negative: No. [Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is] for anyone interested in what happens … Continue reading What is Gay Literature? The Case of Colm Tóibín’s [The Blackwater Lightship]

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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]

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]

Conceal, Don’t Feel: A Queer Reading of Disney’s [Frozen]

Don't let them in, don't let them see Be the good girl you always have to be Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know Well, now they know. - Queen Elsa, "Let It Go" - Disney's Frozen Last night I saw Frozen, Disney's adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale entitled The Snow Queen. After seeing the film, … Continue reading Conceal, Don’t Feel: A Queer Reading of Disney’s [Frozen]

Ellen Wittlinger’s [Parrotfish]: A Transgender Coming-Out Novel

What made a person male or female, anyway? The way they looked? The way they acted? The way they thought? Their hormones? Their genitals? What if some of those attributes pointed in one direction and some in the other? - Ellen Wittlinger, Parrotfish (p. 131) Although Julie Anne Peters' Luna was the first young adult text to tackle … Continue reading Ellen Wittlinger’s [Parrotfish]: A Transgender Coming-Out Novel

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

Justin Torres’ “We the Animals”: A Fresh and Animalistic Twist to the Coming-of-Age Narrative

When constructing the list for my doctoral exams, I wanted to include novels that discussed issues of development, coming-of-age, and sexuality from multiple perspectives. Justin Torres’ We the Animals not only caught my attention because it was favorably reviewed by authors such as Michael Cunningham, but also because it contains Puerto Rican representations—and as some … Continue reading Justin Torres’ “We the Animals”: A Fresh and Animalistic Twist to the Coming-of-Age Narrative