Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New York: The Novel

I just started reading New York: The Novel, an 862-page historical novel by Edward Rutherfurd (Doubleday, 2009) that spans several centuries (1600s to the present). Rutherfurd beautifully interweaves fictional and historical characters, places, and events. For a history lover like me, it's a truly hard-to-put-down tome. The book brings history to life unlike a textbook.

I can't wait to get to the section that features the cross dressing English governor Lord Cornbury.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Silly Moment For Bill Moyers

While watching on DVD a 1988 interview Bill Moyers did with the late playwright August Wilson for the public TV series A World of Ideas: Writers I heard Moyers , who I admire and respect as a journalist, ask, "Don't you grow weary of thinking black, writing black, being asked questions about blackness?" Wilson, very diplomatically replied, "You never transcend who you are." Moyers asked a silly question. Would he have asked a white author or playwright if he or she were weary of writing about white characters?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vito Russo, The Celluloid Activist

I just started reading Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo by Michael Schiavi (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011). The book looks promising so far. Russo"s Celluloid Closet has long been a favorite book of mine. Now I have the chance to read about his life, activism, and how he came to write this classic about the portrayal of gays and lesbians in Hollywood.