Sarah Schulman is the author of fifteen published or soon to be published works: nine novels, four nonfiction books, and a play.
Schulman's early novels were set in the artistic, bohemian, lesbian subculture of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Books such as The Sophie Horowitz Story and Girls, Visions and Everything were published by small presses. After Delores was published by E. P. Dutton in 1988, and received a favorable review in The New York Times, was translated into eight languages, and was awarded an American Library Association Stonewall Book Award in 1989.
Schulman's subsequent novel, 1990's People in Trouble described the lives of AIDS activists. In 1992, Empathy was released, an experimental novel about lesbian existence. The 1995 novel Rat Bohemia was listed as one of the 100 best lesbian and gay novels by The Publishing Triangle. Her 1998 historical novel Shimmer was set in New York City during the McCarthy era and features a black male protagonist and a white lesbian protagonist.
An early nonfiction book was My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During The Reagan/Bush Years (Routledge, 1995) - a collection of journalism that begins before Reagan's election in 1980 and provides on-going coverage as the AIDS crisis began, includes some information about the early days of the AIDS crisis, which Schulman covered for a range of newspapers and magazines.
In her 1998 book Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America, which also won the Stonewall Book Award, Schulman shows that significant plot elements of the successful 1996 musical Rent were lifted from her novel People in Trouble. The heterosexual plot of Rent is based on the opera La Bohème, while the gay plot is similar to the plot of Schulman's novel. However, both parties agree that Larson used her "settings, themes, characters, plot, and ideas" but that these are not copywritable. Though a separate plagiarism charge brought by Rent's dramaturge was settled out of court, Schulman never sued, but critiqued in Stagestruck the way the musical depicted AIDS and gay people.
In 1999 she completed her 8th novel, The Child, which was published by Carroll & Graf in 2007. One week after the novel appeared, Carroll & Graf was purchased by Perseus Books, and the imprint was folded. The paperback edition of The Child was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in fall 2008 and nominated for the Lambda Literary Award and the Publishing Triangle Fiction Prize.
An anniversary critical edition of Empathy, with articles by Kevin Killian and John Weir, was published by Arsenal Pulp in 2007, followed by a new edition of Rat Bohemia in spring 2008, with a cover by Nan Goldin.
In fall 2009, Arsenal Pulp published her ninth novel, The Mere Future, a futuristic dystopia about a New York City in which the only remaining career is marketing. The paperback will appear in Fall 2011.
That same month, The New Press published Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, which received widespread praise and appreciation and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.
Her 15th book, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, will be published by the University of California Press in February 2012.
Schulman is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.
Sarah Schulman – NYC, 1988/89, by Robert Giard
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)
The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination by Sarah Schulman
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (August 1, 2013)
Amazon: The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination
Amazon Kindle: The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination
In this gripping memoir of the AIDS years (1981-1996), Sarah Schulman recalls how much of the rebellious queer culture, cheap rents, and a vibrant downtown arts movement vanished almost overnight to be replaced by gay conservative spokespeople and mainstream consumerism. Schulman takes us back to her Lower East Side and brings it to life, filling these pages with vivid memories of her avant-garde queer friends and dramatically recreating the early years of the AIDS crisis as experienced by a political insider. Interweaving personal reminiscence with cogent analysis, Schulman details her experience as a witness to the loss of a generation's imagination and the consequences of that loss.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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