Monday, August 01, 2005

August Publishing Notes

The buzz: Harpercollins will publish Scott Heim’s new novel, We Disappear, about a meth-addict caring for his ill mother in Kansas. Ballantine will publish three new Rita Mae Brown’s novels: Dueling Grounds, a historical novel in which six old-money Virginia families in the mid-nineteenth century engage in a dangerous contest to see whose eldest son lives longest, and the next two "Sister Jane" foxhunting novels. Joel Defner, who hit it big with Gay Haiku, will publish Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever with Broadway Books. Rose of No Man’s Land, Michelle Tea’s coming of age story about a lonely teenager whose life shifts into overdrive when she befriends a misfit named Rose, will be published by MacAdam/Cage.

Kudos: Lesbian poet May Swenson’s portrait will soon hang in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. Swenson was born in Utah in 1913 and died in 1989 in Delaware at the age of 76 and published 11 volumes of poetry. The 1960 portrait, in pastels and on paper, is by gay artist Beauford Delaney, a friend of Swenson’s. The National Portrait Gallery brought the portrait from the poet’s literary estate in May. Poet Eloise Klein Healey received Antioch University’s Horace Mann Award. Mann was the first president of the university, founded in 1852. Healey is the founding chair of Antioch’s MFA Creative Writing Program. Her most recent collection of poems, Passing, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Audre Lord/Publishing Triangle Poetry Award.

Open calls: Hand.tooth.nail, a new literary e-zine, is now accepting submissions of poetry, prose and fiction. Kirkus Reviews is launching the annual Virginia Kirkus Literary Award for the best unpublished first novel or short story collection. Deadline is November 1, 2005 and the submission fee is $150. The Rauxa Prize carries an award of $1000 given annual to an erotic short story of exceptional literary quality. Nominations are due by September 15, 2005
On and off the Shelves: A new gay bookstore has opened in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC. G Books, 1520 U Street, NW, sells trade used and new gay books, magazines, movies, and music. John David Hinkle has opened gay-friendly John David’s Lightly Used Books in Lansing, Michigan. After many years and a lot of different jobs in Chicago (including writing a column for Gay Chicago Magazine), Hinkle plans to have the store serve as a meeting place for local groups and as a "no-hate zone." "If this town can support four gay bars, they can support me," Hinkle told a reporter for the Lansing State Journal. Seattle’s Beyond the Closet closed its doors on July 28, 2005. Owner Ron Whiteaker told the Seattle Gay News that declining sales, Internet discounting, and "armchair buying" contributed to the store’s closing after 17 years. The Women’s Review of Books, which ceased publication last December, will resume publication in January 2006. The magazine will return as a bi-monthly and with the same editor, Amy Hoffman. Wellesley will co-sponsor the publication along with Old City Publishing.

Up in Arms: In July, the Anderson County School Board of Tennessee decided Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple, was too off-color for 13-year-olds enrolled in a summer reading course. Parents voiced concerns to board members and school officials about graphic passages dealing with rape and incest and didn’t want their kids in the class if and when the book was discussed. Walker’s novel was suggested by the teacher as summer reading to coincide with student interest in the Michael Jackson trial. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) reported in July that an application was filed to ban the theatrical release of the film version of Scott Heim’s Mysterious Skin due to the pedophilia story line. Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification gave the movie a R18+ rating, describing the film as "a serious and legitimate exploration of a disturbing and confronting theme."

Passages: British novelist and screenwriter Gavin Lambert died July 17, 2005, of pulmonary fibrosis in Los Angeles. He was 80 years old. Lambert works include Inside Daisy Clover (novel and screenplay), The Slide Area, GWTW: The Making of Gone With the Wind, Mainly about Lindsay Anderson, The Ivan Moffat File: Life Among the Beautiful and Damned in London, Paris, New York and Hollywood, On Cukor, Norma Shearer: A Life, and Natalie Wood, A Life in Seven Takes. Born in Sussex, England, on July 23, 1924, Lambert attended Cheltenham College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he became friends with aspiring filmmakers Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson, with whom he co-founded and co-edited the film journal Sequence in 1947. From 1949 to 1955, Lambert edited the film journal Sight and Sound before writing his first film Another Sky, which he also directed. In 1961, Lambert wrote the screen adaptation, along with Jan Read, of Tennessee Williams's The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, which starred Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty. He penned another Williams adaptation in 1989, the TV version of Sweet Bird of Youth, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Harmon. Lambert became a U.S. citizen in 1964 and was twice nominated for awards by both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Writers Guild of America: for the 1960 screen adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, which he wrote with T.E.B. Clarke, and 1977's adaptation of the I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, which he wrote with Lewis John Carlino.