elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Steven Corbin (October 3, 1953 - August 31, 1995)

Steven Corbin, son of Warren Leroy Corbin and Yvonne O’Hare, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on 3 October 1953.

After high school he attended Essex County College for two years. He then studied at the University of Southern California’s film school from 1975 to 1977 but never completed the degree.

After leaving film school, Corbin supported himself by working as a secretary and also as a taxi driver while at the same time immersing himself in reading fiction, especially black fiction. Corbin began to aspire to be a novelist by reading the works of black writers such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Richard Wright. Reading the works of James Baldwin convinced him that he should write about being gay and black.

Corbin’s interest in the Harlem Renaissance found artistic expression in his first novel, No Easy Place to Be (1989). His subsequent novels, Fragments That Remain (1993) and A Hundred Days from Now (1994), explore aspects of family, homosexuality, and race in contemporary American society.

In addition to his writing, Corbin became involved in ACT-UP in order to help combat the high level of racial segregation that he noted in the Los Angeles gay community (Duplechan, 12). He also taught fiction writing at the University of California, Los Angeles. Corbin died in New York City of AIDS on 31 August 1995.

AIDS Quilt

Source: Contemporary African American novelists: a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook by Emmanuel Sampath Nelson

Steven Corbin 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)

Further Readings:

Hundred Days From Now by Steven Corbin
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books; 1st edition (June 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1555832326
ISBN-13: 978-1555832322
Amazon: Hundred Days From Now

The author of Fragments That Remain has written a potentially powerful gay-themed novel that is ultimately undermined by cliches and a tendency to tell rather than to show. When Sergio Gutierrez picks up African American screenwriter Dexter Baldwin in an L.A. bar, the two embark on a relationship that spirals downward to Sergio's AIDS-related bone-marrow transplant in a Baltimore hospital. (The critical 100 days immediately following the operation provide the book's title.) Unfortunately, Corbin's matter-of-fact tone and by-the-numbers explication of the affair's progress--or lack thereof--makes it difficult for readers to respond emotionally. And while Sergio's "self-inflicted homophobia" might be true-to-life in extreme cases, his increasingly obnoxious behavior toward the man he claims to love makes him a thoroughly unlikable protagonist. Stylistic lapses further weaken the story ("Sergio was talking too much, garrulously so"), and the dialogue, though occasionally charged with emotion, is more often forced and artificial. The lovers' exchanges, in particular, seldom ring true--while getting to know Dexter, Sergio poses a question that could make a seasoned interviewer cringe: "As a writer, what do you want to say through your art?"

The Mammoth Book of Gay Short Stories edited by Peter Burton
Paperback: 486 pages
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers; First Edition edition (August 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0786704306
ISBN-13: 978-0786704309
Amazon: The Mammoth Book of Gay Short Stories

The newest entry in the Mammoth series of genre and topical anthologies concentrates on stories about gay men written since the end of World War II by writers in English who, editor Burton says, were alive when the book was ready for press. The heft of the book--like every Mammoth anthology, it is a bargain in terms of cost per page--attests to just how big the outburst of open gay male fiction writing after the war has been. The 47 stories in it mostly date from the '80s and '90s yet reach as far back as 1946, and their authors include such established British names as Francis King, Patrick Gale, and Neil Bartlett, and such well-known Americans as Felice Picano, Joseph Hansen, Andrew Holleran, and Pulitzer Prize^-winning playwright Robert Patrick.

More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

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Tags: author: steven corbin, particular voices

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