December 29th, 2013

andrew potter

Burt Blechman (March 2, 1927 - December 29, 1998)

Burt Blechman passed away at age 71 on December 29, 1998 in Providence, Rhode Island of pancreatic cancer. He was survived by his companion John Marsh.

His first novel, "How Much" was adapted by Lillian Hellman for Broadway, and praised by Alfred Kazan as "a book that comes off with painful power ...inimitable." Critically acclaimed by W.H. Auden, Anita Loos, and Susan Sontag, he subsequently wrote four novels, "The War Of Camp Omongo," "Maybe," "Stations," and "The Octopus Papers."

"Turn Off The Television Awhile," wrote Saul Bellow, "and for the sake of your souls, read Burt Blechman." A generous contributor to The Yivo Institute for Jewish Research and the Pearl Theatre, he was a brilliant conversationalist and wit.

The New York Review of Books wrote of "The War Of Camp Omongo": "As extra-literary social pressures have slackened, the gain in artistic range and depth has been unquestionable. The American-Jewish novelist has been emancipated; Bernard Malamud’s generation finally struck off the fetters of uncompromising naturalism, and younger men like Mr. Blechman and Mr. Simckes take their freedom for granted." To this the same Burt Blechman answered, in a letter to the Editors:

"Crucify me if I ever write another book about Jews. Frankly, I have had it. Your reviewer’s grouping me with the OY GEVALTers was the final stroke. To date, I have written two novels with a Jewish background. Reviewers who favor them invariably use the expression “About a family who just happen to be Jewish.” Well, they didn’t just happen. They weren’t born that way, they didn’t choose to be that way. I made them that way. And I promise never to do it again.

Reviewers take note. Henceforth, you will have to place Blechman in a different category. No more “a young Jewish novelist” or “among our newer and more jaded Jewish writers.” I know it will be hard, this refusal to wear the shoe that fits, to sleep in the bed my parents made. But I’m weary of that literary and oh-so-handy Star of David. I’m off to another category. If you think I can’t stick daggers into Protestants, just try me. If you think I’m afraid of the Index, wait and see. Call it a betrayal of trust, call it heresy, but I’m tired of being typed.

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Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/10/classified/paid-notice-deaths-blechman-burt.html

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More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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andrew potter

Charley Parkhurst (1812 – December 29, 1879)

Charlie Darkey Parkhurst, often Charlie/Charlene/Charlotte or Parkurst, born Mary Parkhurst (1812–1879), was an American stagecoach driver and early California settler. Born female, Parkhurst lived as a man for most of his life and may have been the first biological female to vote in California.

Parkhurst, also known as One Eyed Charley or Six-Horse Charley, was born Mary Parkhurst in 1812 in Lebanon, New Hampshire, to Mary (Morehouse) Parkhurst and Ebenezer Parkhurst. Some reports say her first name was Charlene. She had two siblings, Charles D. and Maria. Charles was born in 1811 and died in 1813. Her mother died in 1812. Some time after Charles died and prior to her father's marriage to Lucy Cushing in 1817, Mary and Maria were taken to an orphanage in Lebanon, New Hampshire where they grew up owned by a man named Mr. Millshark. Upon leaving the orphanage she adopted the name Charley Darkey Parkhurst.

Parkhurst worked as a stable hand for Ebeneezer Balch first in Worcester, Massachusetts, then in Providence, Rhode Island, and later in the "What Cheer Stables" at the back of the Franklin House Inn in Providence for several years.

About 1849, James E. Birch and Frank Stevens went to California and consolidated several small stage lines into the California Stage Company. Parkhurst moved there and started to work for them. Shortly after arriving he lost the use of one eye after a kick from a horse. He had a reputation as one of the finest stage coach drivers on the west coast.

Parkhurst retired from driving some years later in Watsonville, California. After trying lumbering, cattle ranching, and raising chickens in Aptos, California, he moved into a small cabin near Watsonville. He died there on December 18, 1879, of cancer of the tongue.

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

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More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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andrew potter

Marianne Faithfull (born December 29, 1946)

Singer Marianne Faithfull bumped into Andrew Loog Oldham at a party in 1964, and the Rolling Stones’ manager took her under his wing. Her first single, "As Tears Go By," was written by Oldham, Mick JAGGER, and Keith Richards. It was a hit.

In the 1970s Faithfull became addicted to heroin and was homeless for a time. She recovered and released another hit record in 1979, Broken English.

In 1965 she left her husband, artist John Dunbar, to live with Jagger. As she put it: "My first move was to get a Rolling Stone as a boyfriend. I slept with three and decided the lead singer was the best bet." She also enjoyed same-sex affairs and was caught by Jagger at least once while she was in bed with another woman. As Faithfull put it, "He knew about my girlfriends. He didn’t mind."

Stern, Keith. Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals. Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

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More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Persistent Voices


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andrew potter

Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow 1 by Alex A. Akira

I have never been an excerpt of Yaoi, cause, as for fanfiction, my background is not that but “classical” romances; I have read Yaoi at the beginning, cause, at the time there wasn’t much choice, but then truly Yaoi romances remained an exception in the majority of new releases. So take my saying on this novel with this preamble: I think this was a quite interesting Yaoi novel, where the author tried to mix western and eastern approaches without betraying one or the other side.

Michael Black represents the western side, a former foster kid with a juvie record, he was presented with an option: joining a dojo and learning martial arts or doing time in prison; of course the choice was obvious. Sure maybe his character was a little over the line, but again, from my experience that is pretty common in Yaoi novel, exaggerating the characteristics, both physical than not, is part of the package. Michael is, after all, a good boy, not a nerd, but neither a very impressive character.

Kiyoshi Kimura aka Hikaru Nakamura is a 19 years old Japanese-korean boy too old for his own age; a past involving abuse and psychological issues, he has a split personality, the cute dancer Kiyoshi and the tough fighter Hikaru. Both personality have a distinct behavior and they cohabit inside the same body. Both agree they want Michael, and perhaps that is the only thing which they agree.

Maybe the point where this novel withdraws the most from an ordinary Yaoi novel is that there are no distincitive seme or uke, or perhaps, seme and uke are molten together inside Kiyoshi/ Hikaru.

Big warning to the reader, as clearly stated this is volume 1 in a 2 books series, and it’s likely recommended to read both books to be able to close the cycle of the story.

Publisher: Ai Press (August 21, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Dragon and Crow Vol. 1 (Dojo Boys)

Series: Dojo Boys
1) The First Misunderstanding: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1576944.html
2) Dragon and Crow 1

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews


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andrew potter

An Isolated Range (Stories from the Range) by Andrew Grey

This is not the first story I read in the from the Range series, and I’m quite surprised the author always manages to make them different remaining nevertheless inside the confines of the same range, same town and more or less same circle of supporting characters.

This time it was the time of Marty and Quinn, two different young men, and yes, I have to highlight young cause Marty is at his first year of college and Quinn is a veterinary assistant. They are still in that moment of life when their future is in front of them, but they haven’t yet decide how to approach it. Marty is gay but he doesn’t have the courage to come out to his family, with his father a republican senator who is promoting laws against the LGBT rights. On the other side there is Quinn, maybe a little older than Marty, and his father is not a public figure, but still, he is an homophobic who disapproves of his son working for a gay couple like Dakota and Wally.

Another point that made this novel different from the others is that, for most of the novel, more than half, the relationship between Marty and Quinn remains innocent, to a level where they barely kiss. It was sweet, and call me ingénue, but to me it was right for the age and the character of the two men, I didn’t see them as ready to have a roll in the hay like that, without having the time to come to pact with their own life and desires.

A nice addition to a series that is already an aficionados for many readers.

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623800765
ISBN-13: 978-1623800765
Amazon: An Isolated Range
Amazon Kindle: An Isolated Range

Series: Stories from the Range
1) A Shared Range
2) A Troubled Range
3) An Unsettled Range
4) A Foreign Range: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2403579.html
5) An Isolated Range

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews


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