The Magician by Colm Tóibín – my book review in Lambda Literary

Lambda Literary published and included in its December mailings my review of The Magician, Colm Tóibín’s novelized biography of Thomas Mann, Germany’s greatest 20th century writer – and a married and closeted public figure.

“Gay, artistic Thomas is born into a prosperous mercantile family [where] money is as self-evident and essential as water and sunshine. When, a few decades later, the post-war inflation evaporates the family fortune, his mother does what other self-respecting women of her class would do – take to bed and starve herself to death – because she simply doesn’t know how to live otherwise.” [. . . ]

I proposed to write this review for Lambda Literary because of my deep love for both writers. Mann’s The Magic Mountain, Doctor Faustus, and Death in Venice are among the finest works of fiction I’ve ever read. Toibin’s The Master, Brooklyn, and the lesser-known The Story of the Night are simply delightful. That said, my review points out some flaws in The Magician, and yet, it is a profound book which deserves to be read, a study of a life rich, complex, and meaningful.

Check it out and please 🙏 support this wonderful organization.

Speaking Out on Gay Parenting and Writing at Lambda LitFest

Loved being part of the “Our Families, Our Stories: Writing and Parenting in the Trenches” apanel t 2019 Lambda LitFest with Michael Kearns, Carla Sameth, Pat Alderete, and Aimee Rowe, and reading there the opening chapter of my book Dispositions. From a lesbian Mom with a child from a short-lived straight marriage, to a pioneering, single HIV-positive Dad, to two gay Moms raising their kids, each with her own, unique path, to our story, we presented a wide range of moving parenting experiences.

To me, the last 15 years have also been an experience of being both in and outside the traditional parenting narrative. What sets gay male parenting apart is that it is a 100% intentional endeavor. We have fought an uphill fight, and have come a long way. In 2019, our right to parent is a reality, but any way you look at it, parenting remains of little interest to many within our community. And it’s fine because it’s how it should be: intentional, not a slip-up, a by-product, or a means to end. LambdaLitFest1 9-27-19 (Final)


Lambda LitFest Writing/Parenting Panel

Please come to our panel “Our Families, Our Stories: Writing and Parenting in the Trenches” at Lambda Literary Festival. Here’s the panel description:

For those LGBTQ writers who are parents, the realities of parenthood intersects at every level of the professional author experience. Queer parents are often intentional in creating their families and in how they position their identities as writers, from craft to publication and marketing. Markedly so when you define yourself as other than a traditional “parent” and know how much words matter.
This interdisciplinary program features diverse authors who have published in multiple genres in magazines and books. The queer parenting experience is historically underrepresented and is now a rising area of focus in literary publishing.
Panelists will talk about how they both write about and interrogate some of the assumptions of parenting today.
Readings (fiction/memoir/poetry), followed by discussion.