My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them

Michael Montlack, Editor
Michael Montlack, Editor . Univ. of Wisconsin $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-299-23120-0
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009

In very short, very tender essays, a variety of gay male writers, from poets to playwrights to a standup comic, pay homage to an even wider variety of women who have inspired them. Peter Dubé writes how the photography of Claude Cahun suggested “a delirious world of possibilities”; Jeff Oaks recalls a childhood of wearing wristbands fashioned from paper cups to emulate his “model of power,” Wonder Woman; Christopher Lee Nutter looks back on his closeted teenage years and how Sade taught him “that there was a world somewhere that suited them better than the world they'd been born into.” While a few essays are disappointingly shallow (“More than smart and fabulous, Parker Posey is fall-on-the-floor ridiculous”), such standout pieces as Mark Doty on Grace Paley are elegant and affectionate tributes to how these muses have been “fairy godmothers” and “older sisters,” as Montlack's introduction explains, and illustrate how complex, sustaining and lifelong are the bonds between gay men and their divas. (May)

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