Wednesday, December 31, 2008

January 2009 Publishing Notes

The buzz: Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish Alex Ross’s new book, Listen to This, based on his New Yorker essays, discussing basic musical concepts in a conversation about classical and pop music, in 2010, along with Wagnerism: How a Composer Shaped the Modern World.

Spiegel & Grau will publish A Place to Come Home To by Margaret Robison, Augusten Burroughs’ mother, drawing on years of her journals and diaries about her early life in southern Georgia, her marriage; raising two boys whose own memoirs would become publishing phenomena; and her descent into psychosis, followed by a massive stroke; and now a hard-won ability to speak, write, and reflect on her life.

Riverhead will publish Sarah Waters new novel, The Little Stranger, a ghost story set in 1940s Great Britain, in Hundreds Hall, a centuries-old house of declining health and fortune, in the spring of 2009.

Running Press is releasing a line of gay historical romances written for straight women. The series will launch in April with Transgressions by Erastes and False Colors by Alex Beecroft. Two more titles are set for fall 2009.

Samhain Publishing ( has purchased Linden Bay Romance (

Vanity Fair magazine has a blog dedicated just to gays and cars called Stick Shift, written by Brett Berk (The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting).

Publishers Weekly reported that Pat Holt, San Francisco book reviewer and publishing journalist, is back online at her popular blog Holt Uncensored after a three-year hiatus. Holt stopped the blog when her partner, the writer Terry Ryan, became seriously ill. Ryan died in 2007. At the time that Holt Uncensored went on hiatus in late 2005, Holt was posting twice a week and had 5,000 loyal readers. Holt’s intention now is to write one, or occasionally two weekly essays for her blog.

Barnes & Noble will publish There’s No Place Like Oz in 2009, a large-format illustrated book, licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the release of the film The Wizard of Oz, with never-before-seen pictures and memorabilia that explore the creation of the movie.

A TV movie adaptation of Prayers for Bobby, based on the best-selling 1998 book, airs on Lifetime in January. Sigourney Weaver stars as Mary Griffith, whose gay son Bobby committed suicide because of her religious intolerance.

A Million Little Pieces author James Frey has decided he will write the third book of the Bible, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, in which his version of Jesus will perform gay marriages.

New Mexico-based Revision Studios will publish The Princess Diana Bible in the spring of 2009, a gay version of the Bible, in which God says it is better to be gay than straight. A preview of Genesis is available at The film studio said it would also adapt and direct the revised Bible as a two-part mini-series, The Gay Old Testament and The Gay New Testament, once it is completed.

Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, a classic from 1969 that takes the reader to the world of Winter and its inhabitants the Gethenians, whose society is not based on gender roles, has been optioned for feature film by screenwriter/director Will Phillips.

Italian state television RAI TV cut a gay sex scene from Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, as well as a sequence showing the lead characters kissing when it aired the movie, drawing allegations of censorship from gay rights groups. RAI said in a statement the film had arrived from the distributor already cut so that it could be shown in prime time. Massimo Gramellini, a top commentator for the daily newspaper La Stampa wrote in a front-page editorial: “I would like to understand why a kiss between two gays ... should offend our sensibilities more than scenes of heterosexual sex or bloodthirsty violence.”

Showtime is developing a reality series, Way Out, documenting gay people coming out to friends and family. In each episode, a closeted individual reveals their true sexual orientation during a group meeting.

Choreographer-director Gisèle Vienne has been collaborating with Dennis Cooper to create theatrical piece based on his story, “Jerk.”

The 59E59 Theaters will present the New York premiere of Terre Haute, by Edmund White, from Jan. 13 to Feb. 15, 2009. The two-character drama is about an imagined meeting between the writer Gore Vidal and the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The play, first seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006, was performed in various locations in England last year.

The Golden Crown Literary Society has set its 2009 event: July 23-26 at the Hilton Disney Hotel in Orlando Florida. More details at

In response to the news that Britain is counting gays, lesbians and bisexuals in a survey by the Office for National Statistics, author Larry Kramer called for U.S. gay organizations to do the same in an email that wound up posted on Eric Leven’s Knucklecrack blog.

After 14 years of effort, the New York City AIDS Monument was dedicated in Hudson River Park in December. From 1985 to 2002, over 81,000 AIDS deaths were reported in New York City and the monument is a 42-foot long, 2-foot tall, 12-inch deep curved granite bench. An inscription on the side facing the river says, “I can sail without wind, I can row without oars, but I cannot part from my friend without tears.”

A collection of letters between Oscar Wilde and Bernulf Clegg, an Oxford University student, are to go on display at the Morgan Library and Museum. The collection’s whereabouts were unknown to scholars for half a century. The letters of Wilde and Clegg, along with some 50 handwritten pages, including nine manuscripts of Wilde’s poems and the earliest surviving letter from Wilde to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, are contained in a red leatherbound volume that was recently given to the Morgan by Lucia Moreira Salles, a Brazilian philanthropist who had owned it for more than two decades. The Morgan also owns the earliest manuscript of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Kudos: Benjamin Taylor’s novel, The Book of Getting Even, was selected as one of the favorite titles of 2008 by the editors of the Los Angeles Times. The novel is about a young gay Southerner’s attachments to a family of Eastern European intellectuals. ** David Sedaris was nominated for a Grammy for Best Spoken Word for When You Are Engulfed in Flames. ** Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise, a history of classical music in the 20th century, received the Guardian First Book Award. ** Sarah Schulman has been made Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.

Dark Scribe magazine has announced the second annual Black Quill Award nominees. Among them are: Dark Genre Novel of the Year: We Disappear by Scott Heim. Full set of nominations can be found at

Personal Favorites of 2008: Favorite reads: The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames, The Vitner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox, Philistines at the Hedgerow by Steven Gaines. (I re-read this and particularly loved the Alfonso Ossorio and Ted Dragon chapters. I even re-watched the movie Pollock to see how they were depicted -- that was a disappointment, they are barely in it.) Favorite movies: The Orphange, Affinity (adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters), Colma: The Musical, Once, Atonement. Favorite discovery: the gay and lesbian line of local history books published by Arcadia. I read Gay and Lesbian San Francisco by William Lipsky (and loved it) and then discovered Gay and Lesbian Atlanta by Wesley Chenault and Stacy Brankham (and could not put it down because I grew up in Atlanta).

Open Calls: Cleis will publish a new book on gay and lesbian couples to raise awareness in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8 titled My Gay Marriage, a collection of personal reflections by married gays and lesbians -- regardless of whether those marriages are legally recognized. The proceeds from My Gay Marriage will go to activist organizations, such as Marriage Equality USA and Join the Impact. Brief personal essays (3000 to 5000 words) about your experience of same-sex marriage should be sent to Brenda Knight at Cleis Press at

Also in the wake of Proposition 8, Kelly & Kamille of the band Karmina and the song “The Kiss” are looking for people to share their “forbidden love” stories at The sisters will select stories for a video interview and media appearances with the band. For more details write

The e-zine Limp Wrist is seeking an Artistic Editor. The AE is responsible for soliciting and selecting art, pictures, and short videos to be featured in LW. For more information contact me at

Passages: Australian lesbian poet Dorothy Porter has died from complications due to cancer. She was 54, and had been suffering from breast cancer for four years before her death, The Age newspaper reported. Porter was best known for The Monkey’s Mask, a crime thriller in verse about a lesbian detective. Published in 1994, the book won the Age Poetry Book of the Year.