Last week we discussed Mean Little deaf Queer by Terry Galloway (Beacon, 2009) and it’s very much worth reading—the writing is strong, thoughtful, blunt, and often very funny. Galloway is highly self-aware and yet has perspective which is a tricky combination to find, especially in memoirists. The first half of the book was the most powerful and compelling for me as she deals with becoming deaf, he sense of betrayal by her body, and her burgeoning identity as a lesbian and as a performer. I admit to skimming pages at the end and I wasn’t alone but she has a second book under contract and I’m guessing that will deal with her new cochlear implant and how that has changed her perceptions of her body, the world, and her place in it yet again and so promises more absorbing reading.
Also, in an effort to actually read all of the books I mention (Val McDermid here I come!) I just finished Big Bang Symphony by Lucy Jane Bledsoe (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010) and I also found myself skimming pages at the end of the book but only because I was so eager to find out what was going to happen and how she was going to end it. Overall, I thought the book was a lot like my sense of Antarctica: pretty much what you’d expect with a few surprising and dazzling moments. The descriptions of Antarctica are stunning. Actually, Bledsoe’s powers of description are stunning period. She’s able to create a character, a moment, a place in a few deft phrases.
Anyone want to move to buy a bookstore in Lesbianville, USA.? According to Shelf Awareness, the owners of Pride & Joy, Northampton, Mass., have put their LGBT book and gift store up for sale. Bay Windows reported that Jeff Wheelock, Melissa Borchardt, and Kelly Wagoner have their shop on the market just two years after purchasing it. In a statement, the owners wrote: “Hard economic times, business and personal transitions, have all taken their toll on our lives. After much soul-searching, we have made the decision to put Northampton’s Pride and Joy up for sale. This decision was not an easy one for us to make. We’ve put our hearts and souls into this business, and we will miss it on many different levels.”
That sucks. And if Northampton can’t support a gay bookstore…yikes. I’ve been consciously trying to support my local indies like Book Court (though no online! They should get on that), Greenlight (online! And quick. I got my books–Jumpstart the World of course and Fontane’s Irretrievable as that New Yorker piece completely sold me and I can’t believe I’d never even heard of him–in 2 days), and powerHouse (fantastic events and what a space). I pay more but I value being able to amble into any of these stores on a Sunday afternoon and poke around, stumble upon a reading, and see something new….like this: I love punch!