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]

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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]

An Analysis of Pastiche in Art Spiegelman’s [Maus I: My Father Bleeds History]

Art Spiegelman's Maus revolutionized the perception of comics not only in academia, but also in popular culture. Not only is it the first graphic novel to ever win a Pulitzer prize, but its presence has been ubiquitous in academia--appealing to scholars interested in areas such as the image-text relationship, animal studies, postmodernism, history, memoir, Holocaust studies, and … Continue reading An Analysis of Pastiche in Art Spiegelman’s [Maus I: My Father Bleeds History]

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]

Tradition, Change, and Kinship in Sherman Alexie’s [The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian]

Few young adult novels manage to tackle deep and complex issues with as much heart and nuance as Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (henceforth PTI). Initially, PTI can be approached as an autobiographical coming-of-age (graphic) novel that centers on the growth and development of Arnold Spirit Jr., a fourteen-year-old cartoonist and student … Continue reading Tradition, Change, and Kinship in Sherman Alexie’s [The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian]

Logan Kain’s [The Dead Will Rise First]

Lately, I've been on a quest to read self-published young adult fiction, mostly because I've noticed that self-published authors tend to take more risks when crafting their stories. The reasons for this are obvious: there is no middle-man, no editor, and even more importantly, self-published authors do not face issues such as censorship and the … Continue reading Logan Kain’s [The Dead Will Rise First]