When my wife and I moved from New York City to Los Angeles last August, I felt a tremendous sense of relief. Not because I was happy to leave New York or entirely confident that we’d made the right decision, but because I was just so glad not to have to think about it anymore. I had spent the previous year locked in an ongoing internal debate about the merits and drawbacks of living in New York, trying to decide which of our problems would be solved by leaving and which ones would follow us around wherever we went. We constantly discussed moving, and when we saw friends we talked about it with them, too. In the end, we spent so much time thinking about leaving that it seemed like the only way to get on with our lives was to just do it. Which we did.
The book documents its time, a time when homosexuality was illegal, and still described in medical books as a mental illness. It is one of the best firsthand accounts of what it was like to be gay in the mid-20th century — ostracized — separate from the mainstream world. It reveals, through its characters, how young men couldn’t admit, even to themselves, that they were what society deemed perverted.
At the LARB, Scott Korb interviews Rosie Schaap, who offers up a theory that bars and churches are both a kind of “sanctified space.” To get more insight, you could also check out her Rumpus interview, or even go watch her mix cocktails (above) with Kurt Andersen of NPR. (You could also just go buy her book.)
"There is always something lost, or exchanged, when the imagined world evoked by the written word, unique for every reader, is replaced by a provided set of visual references. In this particular case, the artist is faced with translating the unbelievable, even the metaphysical, into visual imagery, and within a relatively constrained form." Jenna Brager on Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time.
Yes, tonight The Rumpus (& snotty-nosed kid-sister The Rumblr) descend on Williamsburg to tear shit up.
8PM + PUBLIC ASSEMBLY
(70 North 6th Street Brooklyn NY 11211)
- Comedy by Eugene Mirman
- A live rendition of Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me featuring Sari Botton and Melissa Febos
- Readings by Jami Attenberg, Rick Moody, and Jenny Zhang
- Music by Mike Doughty
- A screening of “Mr. Gracie,” a five minute movie based on Happy Baby
- A one hour DJ set by K.Flay
Get your favorite writers’ autographs! Give your humble Rumblrers a hug! (Or a hearty handshake.) Drink a drank! Start a dance party!
This was 1985 — not the Anthony Burgess novel, the year (Anthony Burgess wrote so many books you might have to make that specification about a number of words or phrases — “On going to bed, I read ninety-nine novels — no, I mean I really did go to bed and read ninety-nine novels!”). I was dropping out of college and had begun a novel and returned to New York. A bookstore in Manhattan announced a rare reading and signing by Anthony Burgess, a primary hero of mine at the time, for his autodidact’s erudition and braggadocio, and for how he’d gentrified a number of outre genres just by picking them up and mingling them with his erudition and braggadocio.