Contra/Diction: New Queer Male Fiction

Brett Josef Grubisic, Author, Brett Josef Grubisic, Editor Arsenal Pulp Press $15.95 (243p) ISBN 978-1-55152-056-8
British Columbian editor Grubisic's anxiety over the ""growing consumerist ethos""--the idea that gay men can purchase acceptability by becoming a desirable target market--inspired him to seek out less-chronicled swaths of gay life. The 32 stories he collected convey an edginess and sense of risk often missing in Hollywoodized, homogenized images of ""palatable, asexual, market-friendly gay men."" The characters in this anthology are widely varied: some are abused and obsessive, like the Spanish-speaking maric n in Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco's ""Hurt Me, Mi Amor."" Others, like the shop owner in George Isley's ""The Relative Bargain,"" are unsympathetic and exploitative, treating younger men as commodities and seeking sale prices. The best of these stories poke fun at our assumptions: in Wes Hartley's ""Brucie Bashes Back,"" vigilantes teach a gay-basher a stern lesson, and William J. Mann's ""A Letter to My Friend Maeve I'll Never Send"" is an erotic note from a gay man to his lesbian friend. Although weaker stories rehash old stereotypes, others put old icons to new use: David Dakar's aging intellectual queen tells of the joys of coming out in the sexually uninhibited 1970s, and Patrick Evans's bull-dyke fights the good fight against patriarchy. Prose styles range from bad romance paperback to disjointed prose poetry to engaging, credible first-person narratives. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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