cover image Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey

Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey

Martin Duberman. Dutton Books, $19.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-525-24955-9

Historian, playwright, gay activist, Duberman was treated for some 20 years by a succession of psychotherapists who attempted to ``cure'' him of his homosexuality. How he gradually came to embrace his sexual orientation as normal is the focus of this searingly candid, sometimes painful, affecting autobiography-- one man's odyssey from self-sabotage to self-acceptance. Coming out, for Duberman, was a tortuous process that led him from anarchism to yoga to men's consciousness-raising groups. One therapist berated him for his ``refusal to change''; another denounced him as ``passive'' and ``devious,'' and when a fellow therapy-group member physically attacked the author the therapist did nothing to intervene. Including a frank account of his love affairs, this intense confessional is full of witty self-deflation as Duberman critiques his own stances on political, sexual and intellectual debates of the last three decades. (Apr.)