During recent months, many friends have been posting their dreams. Not necessarily nightmares, but strange and unsettling nonetheless. Stress is said to trigger more vivid dreams and we all have enough anxiety these days to fill a Jungian encyclopedia. I’m no stranger to bizarre dreams—I’ve had some real whoppers. However, lately they’ve been, for the […]
One might say gay author Edmund White’s 80th birthday celebration began last year. In the spring, ITNA Press published Crashing Cathedrals: Edmund White by the Book, a scintillating compendium of essays, which together create a comprehensive biography of the iconic writer’s adventurous literary life.
And in November, the National Book Foundation honored Edmund White with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. “Most writers don’t set out to break barriers or trail blaze, but rather to share their unique perspectives and stories on the page,” said executive director Lisa Lucas. She added that by looking at the body of work, one sees his career as “revolutionary and vital, making legible for scores of readers the people, moments and history that would come to define not only queer lives, but also the broader trajectory of American culture.”
A few days before ThillerFest X began, I was dog-sitting in Brooklyn. As I walked Leo around the neighborhood, I found the charming community bookstore Terrace Books. Leo agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to wait outside while I took a quick look. Almost immediately I found a novel I’d been hearing a lot about in the last year: The Fever by Megan Abbott. I met the author when she was on a panel with my editor at Bouchrcon 2013 in Albany. So I bought it and began reading in Prospect Park. Preparation for ThrillerFest, I told myself. I whipped through the book in two days – not so much devouring it as it devouring me. Wow!
The evening I finished The Fever, it won the Strand Critics Award and three days later it won Best Hardcover Novel at ThrillerFest. Preparation indeed!
Somehow between Book Expo America and the Lambda Literary Awards, I managed to squeeze in some time to write this short reflection for the Bold Strokes Book Festival in Nottingham, where I’ll be on a couple of panels June 6 & 7 at Waterstones. More on the Lammys later – probably while I’m on a plane, train or bus in the next couple of weeks!
Metathesiophobia: fear of change. It’s something we all share to some extent. Humans like routine. It’s a natural survival instinct that’s ingrained in us. We resist change so that we always feel in control. Fear of change isn’t a bad thing – unless it results in full-blown anxiety attacks, which can paralyze us, force us to reject anything and everything new.
Like most of us, I’m seriously resistant to change; and yet, I adapt to it quickly – almost seem to embrace it. What’s more, I’ve always been a huge fan of reinvention. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” (A timely shout out to Walt Whitman, today being his birthday!)
For me there’s a subtle difference between reinvention and change – one is a choice, while the other is thrust upon us. I choose to become something new, when I’m…
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Birdsong greets the dawn in my friend’s back garden. No matter that clouds mask the rising sun. I’ve a party to get to, so I don’t have much time. It’s Tennessee William’s birthday and I’m celebrating in his “spiritual home” – New Orleans, that is – at the literary festival named in his honor. I don’t want to be late.
I attended the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival back in 2001, covering the event as a journalist for Radio Netherlands. It was my first visit to the city known as the Big Easy and I immediately fell under its spell, much like the young writer who arrived in 1938. Tennessee wrote his Mama: “I’m crazy about the city. I walk continually, there is so much to see.”