New in February: Darryl Pinckney, Alexander Chee, Vanda, Joel Grey, and Allen Ginsberg
Author: Edit Team
February 11, 2016
F ebruary is here, bringing with it a slew of new books to enjoy.
This month, Farrar, Straus and Giroux is releasing Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney, a deeply felt examination of race, sex, and longing.
From the publisher:
Jed–young, gay, black, out of rehab and out of prospects in his hometown of Chicago–flees to the city of his fantasies, a museum of modernism and decadence: Berlin. The paradise that tyranny created, the subsidized city isolated behind the Berlin Wall, is where he’s chosen to become the figure that he so admires, the black American expatriate. Newly sober and nostalgic for the Weimar days of Isherwood and Auden, Jed arrives to chase boys and to escape from what it means to be a black male in America.
But history, both personal and political, can’t be avoided with time or distance. Whether it’s the judgment of the cousin he grew up with and her husband’s bourgeois German family, the lure of white wine in a down-and-out bar, a gang of racists looking for a brawl, or the ravaged visage of Rock Hudson flashing behind the face of every white boy he desperately longs for, the past never stays past even in faraway Berlin. In the age of Reagan and AIDS in a city on the verge of tearing down its walls, he clambers toward some semblance of adulthood amid the outcasts and expats, intellectuals and artists, queers and misfits. And, on occasion, the city keeps its Isherwood promises and the boy he kisses, incredibly, kisses him back.
Aww, the drama of the opera! The life of a tempestuous 1880’s opera diva is explored in Alexander Chee’s new historical novel Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt):
Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.
As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.
This month sees the release of Juliana (Booktrope), a new novel from writer Vanda. Juliana provides a snapshot of the “hidden in plain sight lives of gays and lesbians in 1940s New York City”:
It’s 1941 and Alice “Al” Huffman comes from the potato fields of Long Island with her beau, her best girlfriend and her girlfriend’s beau to make it on the Broadway stage only to find she has no talent. She meets Max, a former producer, talent manager and possible con man who introduces her to the glamorous, perpetually on the brink of stardom night club singer, Juliana. Juliana’s voice sounds to Al like “warm milk slipping down the whole of my body.”
Al is increasingly drawn into a secret gay underworld of men who wear dresses and women who smoke cigars, while her childhood friends continue in their “normal” lives. Al glides easily between the two worlds until the worlds collide.
Allen Ginsberg fans rejoice! This month sees the release of Wait Till I’m Dead (Grove Atlantic), a vital new addition to the beloved poet’s oeuvre:
The first new Ginsberg collection in over fifteen years, Wait Till I’m Dead is a landmark publication, edited by renowned Ginsberg scholar Bill Morgan and introduced by award-winning poet and Ginsberg enthusiast Rachel Zucker. Ginsberg wrote incessantly for more than fifty years, often composing poetry on demand, and many of the poems collected in this volume were scribbled in letters or sent off to obscure publications and unjustly forgotten. Wait Till I’m Dead, which spans the whole of Ginsberg’s long writing career, from the 1940s to the 1990s, is a testament to Ginsberg’s astonishing writing and singular aesthetics.
Following the chronology of his life, Wait Till I’m Dead reproduces the poems together with extensive notes. Containing 104 previously uncollected poems and accompanied by original photographs, Wait Till I’m Dead is the final major contribution to Ginsberg’s sprawling oeuvre, a must-read for Ginsberg neophytes and longtime fans alike.
Celebrated performer Joel Grey recounts his epic life in show business and the personal upheavals experienced along the way in Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir (Flatiron Books):
Joel Grey, the Tony and Academy Award-winning Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret finally tells his remarkable life story. Born Joel David Katz to a wild and wooly Jewish American family in Cleveland, Ohio in 1932, Joel began his life in the theater at the age of 9, starting in children’s theater and then moving to the main stage. He was hooked, and his seven decades long career charts the evolution of American entertainment – from Vaudeville performances with his father, Mickey Katz to the seedy gangster filled nightclubs of the forties, the bright lights of Broadway and dizzying glamour of Hollywood, to juggernaut musicals likeCabaret, Chicago, and Wicked.
Master of Ceremonies is a memoir of a life lived in and out of the limelight, but it is also the story of the man behind the stage makeup. Coming of age in a time when being yourself tended to be not only difficult but also dangerous, Joel has to act both on and off the stage. He spends his high school years sleeping with the girls-next-door while carrying on a scandalous affair with an older man. Romances with to-die-for Vegas Showgirls are balanced with late night liaisons with like-minded guys, until finally Joel falls in love and marries a talented and beautiful woman, starts a family, and has a pretty much picture perfect life. But 24 years later when the marriage dissolves, Joel has to once again find his place in a world that has radically changed.
Drawing back the curtain on a career filled with show-stopping numbers, larger-than-life stars and even singing in the shower with Bjork, Master of Ceremonies is also a portrait of an artist coming to terms with his evolving identity. When an actor plays a character, he has to find out what makes them who they are; their needs, dreams, and fears. It’s a difficult thing to do, but sometimes the hardest role in an actor’s life is that of himself. Deftly capturing the joy of performing as well as the pain and secrets of an era we have only just started to leave behind, Joel’s story is one of love, loss, hard-won honesty, redemption, and success.
The deal is struck. But will the convenient pairing turn into disaster or prove to be a stroke of genius? With feelings deepening and attraction undeniable, can two women who have agreed to settle discover that they could actually have it all?
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.
- Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney, FSG
- The Dance by Suzie Carr, Sunny Bee Books
- GJS II by Shawn Stewart Ruff, Quote Editions
- Hide by Matthew Griffin, Bloomsbury
- Juliana by Vanda, Booktrope Editions
- Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Rumble by Ellen Hopkins, Margaret K. McElderry Books
- Symptoms of Being Human by , Balzer + Bray
- According to the Order of Nature (We Too Are Cosmos Made”) by Stephen Mead, Createspace
- Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls by Lindsay King-Miller, Plume
- Blood & Volume: Inside New York’s Israeli Mafia by Dave Copeland, Barricade Books
- Blowing the Lid: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens by Stuart Feather, Zero Books
- Frankly My Dear I’m Gay: The Late Bloomer’s Guide to Coming Out by
- Gay and Lesbian St. Louis (Images of America) by Steven Louis Brawley, Arcadia Publishing
- Queer (Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art) by David J. Getsy, The MIT Press
- Reading from Behind: A Cultural Analysis of the Anus by Jonathan A. Allan, Zed Books
- Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steel Workers by Anne Balay, The University of North Carolina Press
- The Bible of Gay Sex by Stephan Niederwieser, Bruno Gmuender GMBH
- The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks by Aaron Shurin, University of Michigan Press
- Women Doing Life: Gender, Punishment, and the Struggle for Identity by Lora Bex Lempert, NYU Press
- Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Munks, Laymen, and Christian Ritual by Claudia Rapp, Oxford University Press
- Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Femininity, and South East Asian Culture by Vanita Reddy, Temple University Press
- Girls Will Be Boys: Cross-Dressed Women, Lesbians, and American Cinema, 1908-1934 by Laura Horak, Rutgers University Press
- Gender and Power: Toward Equality and Democratic Governance by
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Healthcare: A Clinical Guide to Preventative, Primary, and Specialist Care by
- Mainstream AIDS Theatre, the Media, and Gay Civil Rights: Making the Radical Palatable by Jacob Juntunen, Routledge
- Out in the Periphery: Latin America’s Gay Rights Revolution by Omar G. Encarnación, Oxford University Press
- Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa by
- Queering Sexualities in Turkey: Gay Men, Male Prostitutes and the City by Cenk Ozbay, I.B.Tauris
- The Cultural Politics of Queer Theory by
- Straight Girls and Queer Guys: The Hetero Media Gaze in Film and Television by Christopher Pullen, Edinburgh University Press
- The Politics of Everybody: Feminism, Queer Theory and Marxism at the Intersection by Holly Lewis, Zed Books
- The Same-Sex Unions Revolutions in Western Democracies: International Norms and Domestic Policy Change by Kelly Kollman, Manchester University Press
- Transgender Representation and the Politics of the Real in the United States by Michel J. Boucher, Routledge
- Wolfenden’s Witness: Homosexuality in Post-War Britain by Brian Lewis, Palgrave Macmillian
- Women’s Rights in the USA: Policy Debates and Gender Roles by
- Fruit of the Golden Vine by Sophia French, Bella Books
- How the Cookie Crumbles by Jaime Samms, Riptide Press
- Love on Tap by Karis Walsh, Bold Strokes Books
- Love on the Jersey Shore by Richard Natale, Bold Strokes Books
- Love on the Red Rocks by Lisa Moreau, Bold Strokes Books
- Lovers Leap by JL Merrow, Riptide Books
- The Unicorn by Delphine Dryden, Riptides Books
- Until September by Chris Scull, Riptide Books
- Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant, Bold Strokes Books
- Whiskey Sunrise by Missouri Vaun, Bold Strokes Books
- The Biggest Lover: Big-Boned Men’s Erotica for Chubs and Chasers edited by R. Jackson, Bear Bones Books
- Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year 20th Anniversary Edition by Sacchi Green, Cleis Press
- The Myriad Carnival edited by Matthew Bright, Lethe Press
- Tracker and the Spy: Dragon Horse War by , Bold Strokes Liberty Editions
- Boystown 8: The Lies That Bind by Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books
- Final Departure by Steve Pickens, Bold Stokes Books
- Twisted Minds by Jody Valley, Bella Books
- Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir by Joel Grey, Flatiron Books
- Postcards From Here by
- Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached by Hillary Whittington, William Morrow Paperbacks
- The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott, Knopf
- Cancer Angel by Beth Murray, Belladonna
- Notes on a Past Life by David Trinidad, Blazevox
- Sticky by
- Wait Till I’m Dead by Allen Ginsberg, Grove Atlantic
- Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa edited by Abayomi Animashaun, Irwin Iradukunda, and Tatenda Muranda, Tincture