June 17th, 2009

andrew potter

In memory of Constance Holme

Edith Constance Holme (October 7, 1880 - June 17, 1955), married name Punchard, was an English writer and playwright. She was born in Milnthorpe, Westmorland (now in Cumbria), the youngest of fourteen children. Her novels are set in the old county of Westmorland, where except for brief periods at school in Birkenhead and Blackheath, she lived most of her life.

Many of Holme's works explore class relationships; her first two books focus on the three-way relationships between landowners, tenant farmers and land agents (Holme's father and her husband were both land agents). Her 1921 novel The Splendid Fairing won the Prix Femina-Vie Heureuse.

Uniquely among twentieth-century authors, all of Holme's novels and her book of short stories were published in the Oxford World's Classics series. The Lonely Plough was also, in 1936, among the first novels published by Penguin. Despite this, her reputation faded quickly after her death; indeed, it had been questioned even during her own lifetime, with the Saturday Review commenting in 1938, "We are still hunting for someone who has actually read Constance Holme's novels." Some of her books were reprinted during the 1970s; however, her final work, The Jasper Sea, remains unpublished.

To read more:

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In the Spotlight: Barry McCrea

The Book: This memorable debut novel explores Dublin’s every corner, including a first-of-its-kind portrayal of its thriving gay nightlife, through the eyes of a young man seduced by a secret society’s ancient reading rituals, based on the sortes virgilianae. In brilliant prose, author Barry McCrea gives readers a psychologically gripping tale set within the intertwining worlds of literature and the living.

When freshman Niall Lenihan moves to Trinity College, he dives into unfamiliar social scenes, quickly becoming fascinated by a reclusive pair of students—literary "mystics" who let signs and symbols from books determine their actions. Reluctantly, they admit him to their private sessions, and what begins as an intriguing game for Niall becomes increasingly esoteric, dramatic, and addictive. As Niall discovers the true nature of the pursuits in which he has become entangled, The First Verse traces a young man’s search for identity, companionship, and a cult’s shadowy origins in the pages of literature and the people of a city. Fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History or Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley will be mesmerized by the strange, page-turning world of this astonishing first novel from a dazzling new literary voice.

THE FIRST VERSE was awarded the 2006 Ferro-Grumley Award for Fiction. Past winners include AT SWIM TWO BOYS by Jamie O'Neill, THE MARRIED MAN by Edmund White, THE HOURS by Michael Cunningham, and THE STORY OF THE NIGHT by Colm Toibin.

Works Joyce’s territory with Becktian irony—and a splash of Patrick White.... Rich in ideas and true to the real world. -- Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2005

Amazon: The First Verse: A Novel

The Author: Barry McCrea joined the department in 2004. His interests include modern European literature, especially narrative, in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Irish (Gaelic), and modern Latin American literature. He has a B.A. in Spanish and French from Trinity College Dublin, and a Ph.D. from Princeton (2004), where his dissertation won the Sidonie-Klauss award. He has recently finished a book entitled Family and the Modern Novel, with chapters on Dickens, Conan Doyle, Joyce, and Proust, which links the evolution of modernist narrative form in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to a changing conception of the family.

His published articles and works-in-progress include essays on modernism and the marriage-plot, on puns and ideas of citizenship in Ulysses, on exile and allegory in Cortázar, and on the relationship between Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the romantic comedy. He is currently working on a second academic book on firstness in fiction, provisionally entitled First Novels, Final Farewells. He has been an invited speaker at conferences and summer schools in the United States, Ireland and Italy, and was a plenary speaker at the 2006 International James Joyce Symposium in Budapest.

His novel, The First Verse (Carroll & Graf, 2005; Brandon 2008), won the 2005 Ferro-Grumley prize for fiction and was selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. It was nominated for an American Library Association Stonewall prize and for a Lambda award and was excerpted in the London Independent on Sunday and the Spanish daily El País. It was praised by publications such as the London Review of Books, the Observer and the Financial Times. The First Verse was published in Spanish as Literati (DestinoLibro, 2007), and in German as Die Poeten der Nacht (Aufbau, 2008).


Top 100 Gay Novels List (*)

External Link to the Top 100 Gay Novels List (simple - without photos)

External Link to the Top 100 Gay Novels List (wanted - with photos)

*only one title per author, only print books released after January 1, 2000.

Other titles not in the top 100 list:

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The Desire for Dearborne by V.B. Kildaire

The first thing that drew me to this novel was the cover... and it was not a surprise to discover that this an Anne Cain's original cover. Since it's a commissioned artwork, it reflects perfectly the story, an historical romance, and the setting, that folly in the background is part of the story. And so it is also explained the second reason I wanted to read this book, it's an historical romance, and so I was expecting another breeches rippers, one of my favorite genre as all you know. And I was not disappointed in my expectation, on the contrary this is "exactly" a real breeches rippers and to be so, one of the main character has to be a sort of damsel in distress, but I'm not saying in a derogatory way.

The book respects all the rule of a Regency Romance, and so we have the dashing and dangerous earl, with a notorious reputation among the ton, and the young and innocent new "beau" of the season, who obviously falls immediately on the net of the aforesaid lord. Only that the "beau" is himself an earl, the American Earl, just arrived from the former colony to claim the title of a distant relative. Leander was the first to be surprised by the turn of the event, he was the fat too often ill third son of a american farmer, forced to bed for most of his childhood and youth. For that reason no one expected from him to be healthy enough to attend College, and so he gave the money his grandfather left for his tuition to his two brother to invest in a merchant ship. Unfortunately the ship, with his two brothers above, got lost at sea, soon after the death for illness of his father, and so, when the news of the inheritance arrived to his american small village, Leander was the only one left to claim the title of Earl of Dearborne.

Now in London he is seen by society like an odd but funny stranger, someone no one has the courage to scorn due to his title and wealth. He also finds a group of aristocratic scholars who share his love for history and books and so he is able to obtain his place among the ton. His strange and secluded upbringing allowed Leander to form a strange way to judge and be judged, and so when he becomes friend with Julien, Earl of Blackstone, he pays little attention to the gossip that the man has "strange" preferences... also since Leander himself is quite attracted by Julien, and starts to wonder if his apparent indifference for women and his only and one interest for a youth friend was not the proof that also him has odd preferences regarding bed companions. Even if innocent, Leander is more than eager to follow his instinct and willing to let Julien being his teacher.

At first Julien is not interest in having an affair with another member of the ton. Due to a bad past experience, Julien reserved himself to pay for his bed partner, and he has a "mistress" settled in a comfortable house. But more or less at the same time of Leander's arrival, Julien is starting to get bored of his temporary partner, and so his interest is sparkled but the young Earl. There is no plan of seduction, instead Julien at first tried to discourage Leander, but when he realizes that the young man is willing, all his reserves are put aside. The conquer is slow but steady, and step by step, Leander experiment a kiss, a stroke, a rub and... well, you can imagine! All Leander's innocence is violated meeting after meeting, but with mutual satisfaction and eager participation. When I said that Leander is a damsel in distress I meant exactly this part of the story, Leander is not a "manly" figure, he was not raised to be a man according to the rule of the XIX century, and so he is extremely innocent and vulnerable; Julien assumes the role of his protector and teacher, and so apparently stronger. But Leander, even if innocent, is smart and clever, only gentler than most of the men.

The fact that their relationship is not something acceptable by the common rules of society and by the law, is not underestimated. It seems that Julien and Leander are excused only due to their high rank position and wealth, but if both of them were not part of the ton, would not be allowed for them to be seen together in society.

Overall the book is almost a classic Regency romance, also in the length, almost 300 pages. I believe that readers like me, who came from an Historical Romance background, will enjoy very much this one. The novel is first in the Timeless Dreams line by Dreamspinner Press, a line I'm sure will love: stories of M/M romance in historical settings. While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma. You can visit the rough and tumble Old West, travel the ancient kingdoms of desert sheikhs, see the black and red lacquer of the Far East, or dance in dramatic Regency England. No matter where or when, in the romantic worlds of Timeless Dreams, our heroes always live happily ever after (description of the line from Dreamspinner Press website).


Amazon Kindle: The Desire for Dearborne

Amazon: The Desire for Dearborne

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain
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Adopt a Movie: Bye Bye, Fruit Fly

The filming of my adopted movie is started last week and they are in full gear ;-) Jesse sent me a pic they took today in Central Park, and I obviously will share it with you. Casper Andreas (director), Sam Whitten, Mindy Cohn and Jesse Archer (Luke)

I made a zoom in of the picture, they are in front of the Turtle Pond

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It's strange, when I went in New York City in 2000, I made almost the same exact photo, only without people and centered on the pond

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I can't wait to travel again there next September.

Source: http://jesseonthebrink.blogspot.com/