The ""M"" Word: Writers on Same-Sex Marriage
Algonquin editor Pories's timely anthology argues, with energy and heart, that all Americans, gay or straight, should have the right to marry. Contributors include marquee names (Francine Prose, George Saunders) and new talent (Alexander Chee, Wendy McClure) working in fiction, memoir and satire (e.g., Saunders's call for a ban on""Samish-Sex Marriage""). Prose's entry, which begins as an imagined wedding announcement for Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, ends with a condemnation of what she sees as marriage's""restrictive and conservative face."" Wendy Brenner offers a sweet tribute to a wedding in which she gave away one of the grooms. Perhaps the finest essay is Kathleen Finneran's candid recollection of an adolescent infatuation. Never having even heard of homosexuality, Finneran stumbles over her longing for a female English teacher, publicizing it with the presentation of a Crock-Pot at school and drive-bys of her teacher's house. Years later, amid a""political fracas"" over Missouri's proposed ban on gay marriage, she contemplates the humiliating birthday gift and wishes she could see her two beloved lesbian friends celebrate a big, official wedding. This volume isn't for the unconverted, but it's witty, wise reading.