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November 5th, 2013

James Festa (1956 - November 5, 1992)

James Festa was the company manager of the New York City Opera and member of New York City's Gay Men's Chorus.

He died on November 5, 1992, at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. He was 36 years old and lived in Manhattan.

He died of AIDS, said Susan Woelzl, a spokeswoman for City Opera.

Mr. Festa began working at City Opera in 1983 as associate company manager and became the company manager four years later. He had been an assistant office manager at the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.

He was born in Harrisburg, Pa., and received a degree in musical theater from the University of Maryland. As a performer, he appeared in dinner theater in Washington and Philadelphia. He was also a member of the New York City Gay Men's Chorus, the St. Joseph's Church Choir in New York, the Collegiate Chorale and the Pan Am Chorus.

He is survived by his companion, Lawrence Flamholtz.

AIDS Quilt

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/11/obituaries/james-festa-36-dies-city-opera-manager.html

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James Robert Baker & Ron Robertson

James Robert Baker (October 18, 1946 – November 5, 1997) was an American author of sharply satirical, predominantly gay-themed transgressional fiction. A native Californian, his work is set almost entirely in Southern California. After graduating from UCLA, he began his career as a screenwriter, but became disillusioned and started writing novels instead. Though he garnered fame for his books Fuel-Injected Dreams and Boy Wonder, after the controversy surrounding publication of his novel, Tim and Pete, he faced increasing difficulty having his work published. According to his life partner, this was a contributing factor in his suicide. "When I met Jim, “lasmartboy” was his screen name on AOL. I was drawn to his sense of humor, the fact that he considered himself smart in an era where dumbing down and self-deprecation are considered virtues, and I was attracted to his no-holds-barred commentary. The website is dedicated to his memory and the promotion of his works." --Ron Robertson

Baker's work has achieved cult status in the years since his death, and two additional novels have been posthumously published. First-edition copies of his earlier works have become collector's items. His novel Testosterone was adapted to a film of the same name, though it was not a financial success. Two other books have been optioned for films, but they have not been produced.

Baker was born in Long Beach, California and raised in what he considered a "stifling, Republican Southern Californian household". Rebelling against his parents, he became attracted to the fringe elements of society, including beatniks (anyone living as a bohemian, acting rebelliously, or appearing to advocate a revolution in manners), artists and gays. In high school during the 1960s he explored his sexuality at underground gay teen nightclubs, while living in fear that his abusive father would find out. At one point, his father hired a private detective to follow him, when he suspected Baker was having an affair with a male neighbor. This family dynamic would be used in many of his novels, most extensively in Boy Wonder.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Robert_Baker
Equally funny as it is subversive, Tim and Pete was the first gay book I ever read that pointed the middle finger at straight conservative society and shouted out a big old Fuck You! This novel is set in a 24-hour time period and is literally crammed full of action and adventure and laugh out loud humor, while dealing with the plight of AIDS. This is the buddy book taken to the extreme, with black humor so dark there should be a new color named after it. --Rob Rosen
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Luis Cernuda (born Luis Cernuda Bidón September 21, 1902, Seville – November 5, 1963, Mexico City), was a Spanish poet and literary critic.

The son of a military man, Cernuda received a strict education as a child, and then studied law at the University of Seville, where he met the poet and literature professor Pedro Salinas. In 1928, after his mother died, Cernuda left his hometown, with which he had all his life an intense love-hate relationship. He briefly moved to Madrid, where he quickly became part of the literary scene. However, his detached, timid and morose character, his search of perfection frequently made him lose friendships and popularity.

His mentor and former professor Salinas arranged for him to take a lectureship for a year at the University of Toulouse. From June 1929 until 1937 Cernuda lived in Madrid and participated actively in the literary and cultural scene of the Spanish capital. Cernuda collaborated with many organisations working to support a more liberal and tolerant Spain. He participated in the Second Congress of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals in Valencia.

During the Spanish Civil War a friend secured him a position as teacher in Cranleigh School, where he taught Spanish Language and literature. After World War II another friend got him a lectureship in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, where he would spend some years. Later on, moved by his sentimental relationships, he would move to Mexico, where he died.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Cernuda

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Martin Smith (26 June 1957 - 5 November 1994, Scotland, UK) was a British actor, singer, and composer who starred in many shows in London's West End. He died from complications of AIDS at the age of 37, leaving a legacy of recorded music.

He made various appearances on television and in the film Yanks (1979), but Martin Smith was best known as Micky Doyle (1985–1986) in the long-running British soap Crossroads. His early appearances in the West End in musical theatre included Che in Evita. He also appeared in a production of William Finn's March of the Falsettos at the Library Theatre in Manchester in 1987. In 1988 he starred in a new London production of Noël Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet. He played Marius and later Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera and Stine in City of Angels in London, as well as creating original roles such as 'Adam' in Children of Eden.

He recorded several concerts with the BBC Concert and Radio Orchestras, and was a regular vocalist on the BBC Radio 2 shows Songs From the Shows and Friday Night is Music Night in the 1980s. He was featured in the Cole Porter revue A Swell Party - A Celebration of Cole Porter (1992) at London's Vaudeville Theatre, singing "Love For Sale" as it was originally intended to be sung - by a man.

In the 1980s Smith became a member of The Salvation Army at Regent Hall Corps in Oxford Street, London. He played several concerts for the organisation and recorded the song "I'll Make My Promises" for the soundtrack album for the Gowans/Larsson musical "The Blood of the Lamb" (released by SP&S in 1981).

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Smith_(actor/musician)

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According to piano virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz, “There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists.” Horowitz himself fit under two of those categories. He achieved international fame during a career that spanned six decades. In 1933 he married Wanda Toscanini under pressure from her father, the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini. The marriage was unhappy, not least because Horowitz continued to have trysts with young men. Later in life Horowitz became more open, frequenting gay bars with his lover. Once, when invited to dinner at the home of gay director George CUKOR, Horowitz accepted, but said, “However, I would much rather come on Sunday.” (Sunday parties at Cukor’s were notorious gatherings of Hollywood’s most eligible gay young men.) Horowitz’ sexuality has been well documented in several books, including the Glann Plaskin and Harold Schonberg biographies.

Arthur Rubinstein said of Horowitz that "Everyone knew and accepted him as a homosexual." David Dubal wrote that in his years with Horowitz, there was no evidence that the octogenarian was sexually active, but that "there was no doubt he was powerfully attracted to the male body and was most likely often sexually frustrated throughout his life." Dubal observed that Horowitz sublimated a strong instinctual sexuality into a powerful erotic undercurrent which was communicated in his piano playing.

In the 1940s, Horowitz began seeing a psychiatrist. According to sources, this was an attempt to alter his sexual orientation. In the 1960s and again in the 1970s, the pianist underwent electroshock treatment for depression.

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Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 6358-6361). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

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Rohase Piercy (born 1958)

Rohase Piercy was born in London in 1958 and moved to Brighton on the South Coast of England in 1986. She is the author of three published novels: My Dearest Holmes, first published by GMP in 1988 and re-published by the author in 2007. MDH excited much controversy when it first appeared, and over twenty years later it continues to provoke fierce debate amongst Sherlock Holmes afficionados. It explores the feelings of Dr Watson for his famous friend, and is set against the background of the criminalisation of male homosexuality in England during the last decade of the nineteenth century. What Brave Bulls, first published by Budding Press in January 2011 and now re-published by the author. This is a children's book aimed at the over sevens. It tells the story of one young bull, Ario, who dreams of glory in the bullfight, and who slowly becomes aware, through his own experience and that of his friends, of the sport's true brutality. Dealing with a controversial and contemporary subject, it ends on a note of hope and faith in the future. The Coward Does It With A Kiss, published in 1990 by GMP, is currently out of print, but will hopefully be revived soon. 'The Coward' is a fictionalised diary of Oscar Wilde's wife, Constance, revealing her own experience of their marriage and the events leading up to her husband's trial, imprisonment and subsequent exile.

Rohase enjoys exploring alternative perspectives in her writing, and her own perspective on life is one of optimism. She still lives in Brighton with her husband Leslie, a dog called Spike, a cat called Percy, and a fluctuating number of fancy pigeons. She has two grown up daughters, Morgana and Pip.

Further Readings:

My Dearest Holmes by Rohase Piercy
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (November 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419676326
ISBN-13: 978-1419676321
Amazon: My Dearest Holmes
Amazon Kindle: My Dearest Holmes

'... The accounts of these cases are too bound up with events in my personal life which, although they may provide a plausible commentary to much of my dealings with Mr Sherlock Holmes, can never be made public while he or I remain alife ...'

Although Dr Watson is known for recording some sixty of his adventures with the celebrated Sherlock Holmes, he also wrote other reminiscences of their long friendship which were never intended for publication during their lifetimes. Rescued from oblivion by Rohase Piercy, here are two previously unknown stories about the great detective and his companion, throwing a fresh light upon their famous partnership, and helping to explain much which has puzzled their devotees.

Together Holmes and Watson face disturbing revelations as they investigate the case of the Queen Bee; and we finally learn what actually happened at the Reichenback Falls, and the real reasons which lay behind Holmes' faked death and his subsequent return.

More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

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November 2013 marks the 7th anniversary since I opened my first journal (and yes, I have an itch, but I will scratch it!), on LJ, and the 5th anniversary of the Rainbow Awards. So, of course I decided for a big bash party. 186 authors, all of them in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, have donated or an ebook, or a print book, and I will use them for a Treasure Hunt. Every day, for all November, I will post 6 excerpts (a random page of the book). No reference to title, or author, or publisher. You have to match it with the book ;-) comment on the blog, 1 comment for each matching (you can even try for all 6 books if you like, so 6 chances to win every day). Until the end I will not say which matching is right, so you will have ALL month to try. No limit on how many books you can win, the more you try the better chance you have to win. End of November, among the right matchings, I will draw the winners. So now? let the game start!

The books are (Author - Title - Format of prize):Collapse )

Previous Post: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3916351.html

Today excerpts are:Collapse )

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