GAY AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
WRITINGS FROM WHITMAN TO SEDARIS
EDITED BY DAVID BERGMAN
Summer 2009, University of Wisconsin
In the first anthology to survey the full range of gay men's autobiographical writing from Walt Whitman to the present, Gay American Autobiography draws excerpts from letters, journals, oral histories, memoirs, and autobiographies to provide examples of the best life writing over the last century and a half.
Volume editor David Bergman guides the reader chronologically through selected writings that give voice to every generation of gay writers since the nineteenth century, including a diverse array of American men of African, European, Jewish, Asian, and Latino heritage. Documenting a range of life experiences that encompass tattoo artists and academics, composers and drag queens, hustlers and clerks, it contains accounts of turn-of-the-century transvestites, gay rights activists, men battling AIDS, and soldiers attempting to come out in the army. Each selection provides important insight on the wide spectrum of ways gay men have defined and lived their lives, highlighting how self-awareness changes an author's experience.
The volume includes an introduction by Bergman and headnotes for each of the nearly forty entries. Bringing many out-of-print and hard-to-find works to new readers, this challenging and comprehensive anthology chronicles American gay history and life struggles over the course of the past 150 years.
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Siddur B’chol L’vav’cha
Prayer book of CBST
2009, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah
The new edition of CBST's siddur, B'chol L'vav'cha, is now available for purchase. You can enhance your experience of Siddur B’chol L’vav’cha with the CBST CD, With All Your Heart: A Musical Celebration of Shabbat at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah.
Filled with Hebrew and English prayers, English translations, and transliterations. You know how some congregation add the four matriarchs to the Amidah prayers? This siddur also adds Zilpah and Bilha, since so many families contains parents and birth parents who are not always legally or traditionally recognized.
A review: Jews have been writing prayer books for more than a thousand years. Each community uses its siddur to define the community and its relationship with God. Each siddur, in turn, mediates between the Jewish past and the present needs of the congregation that sings out its liturgies. These prayers set borders of local custom, determining who is in and who is out, simply by virtue of the words Jews use to pray with one another. CBST is a unique Jewish community in Jewish history. Never before has there been a community that reaches across all borders to welcome all Jews, regardless of orientation or identity, Ashkenazic or Sephardic, Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, or Reform, GLBT or straight. Siddur B'chol L'vav'cha reflects the wide and welcoming embrace of CBST. The prayers are classical, yet re-crafted to reflect contemporary concerns. Translations are faithful to the Hebrew text, yet poetic in their interpretations of Jewish tradition. Transliterations abound, making it possible for every Jew to open the pages of the siddur and begin praying in a customary Jewish manner. Best of all, this prayer book reflects the joy of the CBST community, its love of all who join their sacred circle, and its blessed embrace of God.
-Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary
Another review: This new siddur is a model for the whole Jewish community of how to be inclusive. It effectively brings together the diverse voices of the Jewish people, including those who often feel on the periphery. It reminds us that we all stood at Sinai and no one should feel excluded. Also of note are some of the translations that make the traditional liturgy "speak" to the contemporary worshipper.
-Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, Congregation Society for the Advancement of Judaism, and author, editor or co-editor of numerous books and articles, including three versions of The Jewish Catalog, A Shabbat Haggadah: Ritual and Study Texts for the Home, and The Jewish Holidays, a guide to the holidays used in many Jewish households.
Another review: Siddur B’chol L’vav’cha is a most welcome addition to liturgical renewal and expression in our time! The introduction and history that Rabbi Kleinbaum provides not only explains and contextualizes this prayer book, it also constitutes a rich and inspirational contribution to Jewish prayer and human rights. The siddur itself is a brilliant combination of the old and new. It roots itself firmly in the soil of Jewish liturgical tradition and draws creatively upon a whole variety of Jewish sources while providing a host of innovative and imaginative poems and prayers. B’chol L’vav’cha publicly affirms the pride GLBT Jews possess today, and provides a message of tolerance, inclusion, and inspiration that will facilitate meaningful moments of communal and personal devotion and joy for all Jews.
-Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
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GAY TRAVELS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
WRITINGS FROM WHITMAN TO SEDARIS
EDITED BY MICHAEL LUONGO
The books open with the story of a nice Jewish boy traveling in the Islamic world (Click the cover to read an excerpt)
Gay Travels in the Muslim World journeys where other gay travel books fear to tread-Muslim countries. This thought-provoking book tells both Muslim and non-Muslim gay men's stories of traveling in the Middle East during these difficult political times. The true, very personal tales reveal how gay men celebrate their lives and meetings with local men, including a gay soldier's story of his tour of duty in Iraq. Insightful and at times sexy, this intelligent book goes beyond 9-11 and the present political and cultural divides to illustrate the real experiences of gay men in trouble zones-in an effort to seek peace for all. The Arabic translation of this book caused a bit of a tempest when the word gay was translated into pervert. Click the book cover to read more.
BY MICHAEL LUONGO
Jason Green is a twenty-seven-year-old gay man doing sex research for the betterment of society. He teaches and lectures; he's an educator. A new assignment will take him into the depths of New York's seamy side, revealing the often shocking world of sex clubs, bath houses, and the dangers that await you in this dark world. For Jason, only one thing can shock him more, and it's a betrayal he never saw coming. Michael T. Luongo's writings have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Condé Nast Traveler, and many other publications. He is the author of Frommer's Buenos Aires 2006. Click the book cover to read more.
Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bibl
With Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, David Shneer, Judith Plaskow
2009, NYU Press
“Gives engaged, pertinent, GLBT-focused meaning to the Tanach. The analyses offered here work to break boundaries, queer-ing, celebrating, and re-creating our Jewish texts and traditions in meaningful ways. These acts of reading become the radical movement of making a space for GLBT Jews that is clever, humorous, loving, and thought-provoking.” - Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, New York
In the Jewish tradition, reading of the Torah follows a calendar cycle, with a specific portion assigned each week. These weekly portions, read aloud in synagogues around the world, have been subject to interpretation and commentary for centuries. Following on this ancient tradition, Torah Queeries brings together some of the world’s leading rabbis, scholars, and writers to interpret the Torah through a "bent lens". With commentaries on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and six major Jewish holidays, the concise yet substantive writings collected here open up stimulating new insights and highlight previously neglected perspectives. This incredibly rich collection unites the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight-allied writers, including some of the most central figures in contemporary American Judaism. All bring to the table unique methods of reading and interpreting that allow the Torah to speak to modern concerns of sexuality, identity, gender, and LGBT life. Torah Queeries offers cultural critique, social commentary, and a vision of community transformation, all done through biblical interpretation. Written to engage readers, draw them in, and, at times, provoke them, Torah Queeries examines topics as divergent as the Levitical sexual prohibitions, the experience of the Exodus, the rape of Dinah, the life of Joseph, and the ritual practices of the ancient Israelites. Most powerfully, the commentaries here chart a future of inclusion and social justice deeply rooted in the Jewish textual tradition. A labor of intellectual rigor, social justice, and personal passions, Torah Queeries is an exciting and important contribution to the project of democratizing Jewish communities, and an essential guide to understanding the intersection of queerness and Jewishness.
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AND OTHER REACTIONS TO LIFE, DEATH, AND NEW JERSEY
BY PAUL RUDNICK
September 2009, Harper
From the man who just eats candy in small mealettes, a hilariously funny, touching, and revelatory book from one of America's preeminent humorists
I feel as if I know his late Aunt Lil, as well as his mother and other aunt. The first chapter is priceless, and the rest are gems as well. Forget the Sisters Rozenzweig. There should be a play just on his mother and her two sisters.
In his plays, his screenplays, and his writing for the New Yorker and Premiere, Paul Rudnick has established himself as a comic master whose talents transcend genre. Now, in I Shudder, he trains his wickedly perceptive eye on everything from his New Jersey family to Hollywood to demented alcoholic Broadway stars waving swords. At his Uncle Rudy's funeral, Rudnick's beloved Aunt Lil put one hand on her husband's coffin and her other hand on Rudnick's shoulder and said, "Your Uncle Rudy always loved you. He never understood why, in your writing, you had to use that kind of language, but he loved you." Charming and touching, I Shudder is rendered in Rudnick's gorgeous, zinger-laden prose and reminds us of the need to keep our tongues sharp in the midst of life's many obstacles and absurdities. His plays include I Hate Hamlet, Jeffrey, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, and Valhalla, and he wrote the screenplays for the movies In & Out and Addams Family Values. He also write under the name of Libby Gelman-Waxner. Click the book cover to read more.
Brothers and Others in Arms:
The Making of Love and War in Israeli Combat Units
by Danny Kaplan (Editor)
Haworth Press; (December 2002). Kevin Riordan write the following: Makes a persuasive case that being gay is no particular disadvantage for a soldier, sailor or air force officer and may enable some men to thrive in what the author calls "masculitary" culture. The book got a lot of supportive coverage in Israel. The 35-year-old author and social psychologist was born in California but has spent most of his life in Israel; he lives in Jerusalem and teaches at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Army service is mandatory for most young Israeli Jewish and Druse men. In Israel, homosexuality is not considered an inherent barrier to service. The author was actively, discretely, gay during his 4 years of active duty, and that experience informs the eye-opening interviews with gay combat veterans that comprise the first half of "Brothers and Others in Arms." These frank, funny, occasionally horrifying and often moving accounts from the front lines give the book an emotional ballast often missing from sociological studies. AMONG THE INTERVIEWEES are Tom, a pilot cadet who remembers an intimate encounter with a fellow serviceman that included "a kiss that I can still taste today;" Nimrod, who served on a crowded ship where "the whole homosexual thing was an advantage;" and Yoni, a tank corps member who experienced "a kind of real love, that gave me the strength to serve." Kaplan said he was "surprised" that almost all of the soldiers he interviewed did not face specific adjustment problems related to their homosexuality. This held true even when the serviceman entered the realm that seems so sacred to American opponents of gays in the military - the shower. Turns out the typical combat shower is nothing like the steamily, lurid milieu imagined by conservatives - or by directors of gay porno movies, for that matter. "You get into the showers, especially in Lebanon, where it is below freezing outside and the water is ice cold," Nir, a reconnaissance unit veteran, told Kaplan. "The only thing you want to do is get in and to jump out as fast as you possibly can." Not that sex does not take place elsewhere on the front lines. "I was surprised by the amount of homoeroticism in the stories," Kaplan said, Noting that many, if not most, of his interviewees were guarded about their private lives during their service, or were still in the process of self-definition. In some cases, that process was aided by the fact that the military "is a homosocial institution," in Kaplan's words. To function, it needs more than firepower; it needs men who are capable of bonding emotionally with other men, regardless of sexual orientation. BENEATH THE PLATONIC ideal of brothers-in-arms enshrined in the popular iconography of the military lies an undercurrent of homoeroticism about which the military itself is well aware. "Perhaps the far more 'panicking' implication of acknowledging gays in the military," Kaplan writes, "is admitting that homosocial military culture in and of itself entails homoerotic desire, not only for gay men but for straight men as well." Kaplan said the American "don't ask, don't tell" policy is especially counterproductive because it prevents gays and straights from "negotiating" the issue of a serviceman or woman's actual (or imagined) homosexuality - thereby helping create friction and tension. "Everyone can be suspected of being gay," he said. And while homosexuality appears to be much less of an issue in the Israeli military, Kaplan said most of his interviewees chose not to make a public statement acknowledging their orientation. "In combat units, people usually choose how, and when to come out, usually to a couple of close friends," he said. "Even though the (official) policy is liberal, people don't (automatically) choose to come out. "I think the same thing will be true in the States once they change the policy," Kaplan said. "The policy is important, it's a symbol. But it doesn't matter as much as the macho combat culture itself." Click to read more.
BEND IN THE ROAD
BY JEANNE BARRACK
Winter 2009, MLR
Set in Eastern Europe in the 1880s, two couples find safe havens in the insular world of a traveling Yiddish theatre troupe.
Set in Eastern Europe in the 1880s, introduces us to two couples that find safe havens in the insular world of a traveling Yiddish theater troupe. IN THE LION'S DEN introduces us to Daniel Bercovich, a young man in the first throes of finding his identity. Can the man he comes to love accept a new side to him? Yuval Smolenski finds more than the inspiration for his music, he finds something everlasting in FROM STAGE TO STAGE. These Jewish men in love must deal not only with the stigma of that love but also fear the rise of anti-Semitism. Can their love survive all the forces that surround them?
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BY GLORIA GOLDENREICH
November 2008, Mira
From Publishers Weekly: Goldreich's latest wide-ranging novel, rooted in suburban New York, skillfully delineates contemporary and conservative Jewish life, but with a less-than-compelling story. Goldreich's protagonist, ceramic artist Elaine Gordon, is neither warm nor particularly sympathetic. Putting her husband first and art second, she's effectively shut out her four children. But after her husband dies, those grown children, each of whom has a successful life outside New York City, convene and convince Elaine to visit, hoping she'll choose to live near one of them. First stop is Sandy (now Sarah) in Jerusalem, then Peter in California, both of whom have children Elaine gets to bond with. Next, she travels to Russia with Lisa, an unmarried professional who wants to adopt a child. Finally, she arrives in New Mexico where her gay son, Denis, lives with his partner; Elaine's always been uncomfortable with Denis's homosexuality, and Goldreich (Leah's Journey) doesn't let us forget it. Unfortunately, Elaine's sudden emotional turnarounds never ring true, making last-act reconciliations feel like too little too late. Click the book cover to read more.
by Kobi Israel
May 30, 2005
Pictures of nebbishy Jews?
Strange and yet strangely intimate - Kobi Israel's men allow you a free view into their inner selves. The trust they put in the photographer reflects their longing and curiosity to discover themselves and fight for their own place in a world grown strange. Kobi Israel tells his stories in warm images full of emotions: shots full of sadness, longing, desire, joy, and a lust for life. through the look in the eyes of these strange men the viewer discovers his own strangeness and comes closer to his own longing to find himself. Kobi Israel was born in Israel in 1970. He studied photography & film in Israel and New York. His first book of photos "Views" brought him fame worldwide and was so successful that he was nominated as one of the hundred most influential gays around the world in the year 2004 by OUT magazine.
Kobi writes: "In November 2002, I moved from Tel Aviv to London and settled in Soho, the centre of its gay life. Soho is full of posing, but also full of feelings and emotions - loneliness, excitement, fear, passion and self-discovery are all aspects of living in a big cosmopolitan city. I was fascinated by the amount of "strangers" in a place where we were all "strangers". Coming from Israel, I was a foreigner like so many others who came over from another country or another city. We are all foreigners among foreigners here - everyone you lay your eyes on is a mystery, an enigma.
I was immediately taken by Soho's vibrancy, with its endless encounters in the streets - where so many eyes meet and then quickly move away. Sometimes these glances last a moment longer and turn into a smile. So many stories, languages, gestures, so many trapped feelings behind those faces... Two strangers meet and reveal to each other the most precious secret they have - their intimacy - their naked bodies, their excited breathing, their vulnerability, their morning-after-look. They give to a complete stranger the greatest gift they can - their "naked truth" - while most of the time they work so hard to cover it up by means of fashion and codes of behaviour. You may call these encounters "casual sex" or a "one night stand ", but for me the experience of having someone who only a moment ago was a mere stranger in the street, now lying completely naked in your bed, closing his eyes next to you, giving you the gift of full trust in his most vulnerable state - is pure magic. I selected my models very subjectively, often without having a plan beforehand. Some sessions were triggered by a smile on the street from a passer-by, a shy look in a bar, an erotic chat on the internet, or just by following the body language of someone across the street from my coffee table. Sometimes, a moment of intimacy unexpectedly revealed itself during a professional photo session for a model portfolio.... All the people in these photos are very special strangers who allowed me to witness and capture a special moment of intimate truth. Thanks to that, they have gained a place in my heart. They are my intimate strangers
We won't post the pics from this book, but if you want to look at a few, click below (contains nudity)
Click to read more.
The thin line between homo-social and homo-erotic in army life can be so confusing and torturous for a gay soldier. Soldiers hug and kiss each other, say "I love you brother" to each other, sleep together - sometimes lean on each others' chests, sometimes share a tiny mattress, have communal showers where they play "boy games" like throwing water and soap on each other, sometimes share a hot shower, sometimes masturbate together. 33 year-old Israeli born photographer, Kobi Israel, has just published a major pictorial testament, which is a personal journey back into his inner world of memories, conflicts and trapped emotions.
He has exhibited his photographs all over the world particularly in Tel-Aviv, Israel - the country of his birth.
Although he now lives in London, Views attempts to recreate and reinvent fragments of his life and psyche as a young Israeli, growing up in a macho society where feelings towards other men are often 'brotherly', physical and warm but seldom cross the dangerous line between a brotherly hug and a hug of love and desire.
There's an overt military feel to the photographs which stems from the fact from the age of 18, like every Israeli, he had to join the army for three years. His contradicting feelings are beautifully realised in the images as he tries to recreate the feeling of loneliness that he felt, torn between the confusing emotions of brotherly love and sexual attraction to his fellow soldiers.
Some of the photos in Views are 'stage directed' and some are 'real life' snapshots, but they all convey the emotions that Kobi is trying to convey.
Click to read more
To see pics, visit http://www.kobi-israel.com/male_gallery_Being1.html
Drag King Dreams
by Leslie Feinberg
MAY 2006. Carroll and Graf/Avalon.
From award-winning and best-selling author, Leslie Feinberg, comes Drag King Dreams, the story of Max Rabinowitz, a butch lesbian bartender at an East Village club where drag kings, dykes dressed as men, perform. A veteran of the women's and gay movement of the past 30 years, Max's mid-life crisis hits in the midst of the post-9/11 world. Max is lonely and uncertain about her future - fearful, in fact, of America's future with its War on Terror and War in Iraq - with only a core group of friends to turn to for reassurance. Max is shaken from her crisis, however, by the news that her friend Vickie, a transvestite, has been found murdered on her way home late one night. As the community of cross-dressers, drag queens, lesbian and gay men, and "genderqueers" of all kinds stand up together in the face of this tragedy, Max taps into the activist spirit she thought had long disappeared and for the first time in years discovers hope for her future. Click to read more.
by WAYNE HOFFMAN
JUNE 2006. Carroll and Graf
Taking place over the course of a single year, HARD periodically stops the action to delve into the sexual psyche of its main characters, exploring what motivates them, what turns them on, what defines their identity - what makes them hard. As FAGGOTS explored the 1970s sexual universe of gay men in New York, Hard takes a serious look a generation later, taking readers into adult theaters, online chat rooms, bedrooms, and into the minds of the gay men who have sex there. But while Faggots was written before AIDS, the characters in Hard are very much affected by the epidemic: Frank lost his lover to the disease, Gene is HIV-positive, Aaron's lover unwittingly puts them both in danger, and Moe Pearlman's sexual politics are deeply informed by AIDS. There's nobody in Hard who hasn't had his sexuality and politics shaped by the epidemic. There's also a motley crew of activists and sex partners, co-workers and family members, porn stars and B-list celebrities. The complex web of characters and subplots create a rich portrait of New York in the 1990s. And, like Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, Hard does it with edgy humor, snappy dialogue, and a scene-driven episodic structure.
Mr. Hoffman, the author, is an editor at THE FORWARD. Click to read more.
Heather Has Two Mommies
20th Anniversary Edition
by Leslea Newman
2009, Alyson Books
Twenty years ago, Leslea’ Newman, the poet of Northampton Mass, published this book. It wasn’t her idea. She wrote it response to a woman who asked why she could not find a book that portrayed her family of two mothers and one daughter. Ms. Newman understood her plight. Ms Newman was raised Jewish in Brooklyn and grew up reading books about Easter Egg hunts, and Santa and Christmas, and not about curly haired young girls with a bubbe and Friday night Shabbat dinners. When the book came out in 1989, some parents thought that reading it to their children would turn them gay.
Times have changed ?
Herein is the story of Heather, a preschooler with two moms who discovers that some of her friends have very different sorts of families. Juan, for example, has a mommy and a daddy and a big brother named Carlos. Miriam has a mommy and a baby sister. And Joshua has a mommy, a daddy, and a stepdaddy. Their teacher Molly encourages the children to draw pictures of their families, and reassures them that "each family is special" and that "the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other."
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The Fetus in Rabbinic Narratives
(Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion)
by Gwynn Kessler
2009, University of PENNsylvania PRESS
In Conceiving Israel, Gwynn Kessler examines the peculiar fascination of the rabbis of late antiquity with fetuses—their generation, development, nurturance, and even prenatal study habits—as expressed in narrative texts preserved in the Palestinian Talmud and those portions of the Babylonian Talmud attributed to Palestinian sages. For Kessler, this rabbinic speculation on the fetus served to articulate new understandings of Jewishness, gender, and God. Drawing on biblical, Christian, and Greco-Roman traditions, she argues, the rabbis developed views distinctive to late ancient Judaism.
Kessler shows how the rabbis of the third through sixth centuries turned to non-Jewish writings on embryology and procreation to explicate the biblical insistence on the primacy of God's role in procreation at the expense of the biological parents (and of the mother in particular). She examines rabbinic views regarding God's care of the fetus, as well as God's part in determining fetal sex. Turning to the fetus as a site for the construction of Jewish identity, she explicates the rabbis' reading of "famous fetuses," or biblical heroes-to-be. If, as they argue, these males were born already circumcised, Jewishness and the covenantal relation of Israel to its God begin in the womb, and the womb becomes the site of the ongoing reenactment of divine creation, exodus, and deliverance. Rabbinic Jewish identity is thus vividly internalized by an emphasis on the prenatal inscription of Jewishness; it is not, and can never be, merely a matter of external practice.
Gwynn Kessler received her Ph.D. in Rabbinics, with a specialization in Midrash from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001. Her thesis concerned “The God Of Small Things: The Fetus and Its Development in Palestinian Aggadic Literature” She teaches at the University of Florida and her current research uses feminist and queer theories to interpret (and critique) rabbinic constructions of gender and the body. She also teaches a course on GLBTQ Jews and Judaism and a course on biblical and rabbinic constructions of God's gender.
Read excerpts here: http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/toc/14611.html
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Wrestling With God And Men
Homosexuality In The Jewish Tradition
by Rabbi Steven Greenberg
March 2005, University of Wisconsin Press
Rabbi Greenberg's Wrestling with God and Men has received a great deal of
media attention. According to Publisher's Weekly, "While Greenberg's
controversial biblical claims on this long-taboo topic may infuriate
some and gratify others, his book arouses deep empathy for Orthodox
homosexuals." Publisher's Weekly also named Greenberg one of the top
ten authors at Jewish book festivals in 2004. His book was chosen by
Amazon.com as one of the top ten 2004 gay and lesbian books. Greenberg
recently won the Koret Jewish Book Award in philosophy and thought for
his groundbreaking integration of faith and homosexuality; the award
will be presented April 11, 2005 in San Francisco. He is also a
finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, which recognizes gay
literature, in religion and spirituality, winners will be announced in
New York City on June 2, 2005. Greenberg has toured in the United
States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. While two verses in the Bible have long been understood to prohibit
homosexuality as abominable, Rabbi Steven Greenberg sought to reconcile
traditional Judaism and homosexuality in Wrestling with God and Men:
Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition. In the newly updated, paperback
edition of his book, Greenberg includes a discussion of the compelling
force that may influence sexuality. Rabbi Steven Greenberg became the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi in
1999. Currently, he is a senior teaching fellow at CLAL, the National
Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. For more information about Greenberg and Wrestling with God and Men,
please visit www.wrestlingwithgodandmen.com Click the book cover above to read more.
SETTING THE LAWN ON FIRE
BY MACK FRIEDMAN
Setting the Lawn on Fire, the first novel by critically acclaimed writer Mack Friedman, trails its narrator through his obsessions with sex, drugs, art, and poison. Ivan, a young Jewish boy from Milwaukee, embarks on a journey of sexual discovery that leads him from Wisconsin to Alaska, Philadelphia, and Mexico, through stints as a fishery worker, artist, and finally a hustler who learns to provide the blank canvas for other people's dreams. The result is a new kind of coming-of-age story that sees passion from every angle because its protagonist is every kind of lover: the seducer and the seduced, the pornographer and the model, the hunter and the prey, the trick and the john. In the end, Setting the Lawn on Fire is also something rare-a fully realized, contemporary romance that illuminates the power of desire and the rituals of the body, the brain, and the heart that attempt to contain our passions.
Click the book cover above to read more.
You may know Perel from her class at ALMA NY (Bronfman Center)...
Mating in Captivity
Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic
by Esther Perel
September 2006. HarperCollins
Does mystery and uncertainty lead to better sex? Perel, who grew up in Israel, writes that eroticism is dwindling. Marriages used to be about security, reproduction, companionship, status. Now we expect to be best friends and passionate lovers for life. Perel asks, Why does great sex so often fade for couples who claim to love each other as much as ever? Can we want what we already have? Why does the transition to parenthood so often spell erotic disaster? Does good intimacy always make for good sex? Esther Perel takes on these tough questions, grappling with the obstacles and anxieties that arise when our quest for secure love conflicts with our pursuit of passion. She invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home. In her twenty years of clinical experience, Perel has treated hundreds of couples whose home lives are empty of passion. They describe relationships that are open and loving, yet sexually dull. What is going on? In this explosively original book, Perel explains that our cultural penchant for equality, togetherness, and absolute candor is antithetical to erotic desire for both men and women. Sexual excitement doesn't always play by the rules of good citizenship. It is NOT politically correct. Partners may fantasize about other people. Sex thrives on power plays, unfair advantages, and the space between self and other. She writes that more exciting, playful, even poetic sex is possible, but first we must kick egalitarian ideals and emotional housekeeping out of our bedrooms. While Mating in Captivity shows why the domestic realm can feel like a cage, Perel's take on bedroom dynamics promises to liberate, enchant, and provoke. Flinging the doors open on erotic life and domesticity, she invites us to put the "X" back in sex. Click to read more.
Listening for the Oboe
The Drashot of Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Dr. Constance H. Buchanan (Introduction), Rabbi Margaret Wenig (Editor)
November 2005, CBST Books
Two of the best classes we ever took were at CBST (Jewish Law and Tattoos was one of them, hehe). And while some people go to shuls to pray or for the honey cake, we at MyJewishBooks.com have been attracted by the inspiring and humor filled sermons and drashot by Rabbi Kleinbaum (who can forget the poingnat Kol Nidre one, in which she also added that congregants were welcome to fall to sleep since Manhattanites are so sleep deprived it would be a miotzvah if she could grant them some needed rest, or that the Loew's Cinema 8:30 films were about to start across from the shul). And now, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Manhattan has published Listening for the Oboe, a collection of drashot by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum from her first ten years as spiritual leader of CBST. Click the book cover above to read more.
HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL
A GRAPHIC NOVEL
BY ABBY DENSON
From Publishers Weekly: Derived from Japanese boys' love comics (yaoi/shonen-ai), this tells the story of Brian, a newcomer to his suburban high school, and his budding romance with Chris, a classmate. Denson substitutes reality for romance, confronting issues of adolescent homosexuality with a self-conscious sincerity. Often times, the boys are suspended between cold reality, as when the jocks in the school assault Brian, and bliss, when Chris and Brian are able to act as a couple. Denson's jagged illustration evokes a punk rock aesthetic that harkens back to the anti-establishment sentiment of adolescence. Unfortunately, true to adolescence, much of Tough Love is portrayed with an awkwardness that flattens intense moments of confrontation. For instance, in Brian's coming-out scene with his mother, she expresses disappointment but remains relatively unfazed. While Denson attempts a more realistic portrayal of teen homosexuality than is seen in Japanese comics, sometimes the real-life elements of the story feel the most fantastic. However, as the first book to combine the cute guys of yaoi manga with the American sensibility of gay pride, Tough Love becomes a shy, anxious testament to growing up gay in suburbia. Click the book cover to read more.
A Novel by
September 2006, Knopf
Ages 9 and up
In Boy Meets Boy (2003), Levithan created a town where being gay is no big thing. In his latest, he imagines a future America--after the Reign of Fear, after the Greater Depression, the War to End All Wars, the Jesus Revolution, and the Prada Riots. Living in this not quite but almost believable America are Duncan and his boyfriend, Jimmy, who start out the book rejoicing that Abe Stein, both gay and Jewish, has been elected president. Unsurprisingly, however, the governor of Kansas demands a recount, causing both Stein supporters and Stein haters to travel en masse to Kansas. Into this politically charged atmosphere go Duncan and Jimmy, who experience what proves to be a life-changing journey for them and their country. Levithan is best when he's focused on the two nuanced teenagers. Duncan's first-person narration--vulnerable, insecure, caring--absolutely sings, and his relationship with the outspoken Jimmy has all the awkwardness and intensity of first love. Clearly responding to current politics, Levithan's vision of the future occasionally dips into heavy-handed moralizing, but politics are so well integrated and thought-provoking that those moments are forgivable. As much about love as about politics, Levithan's latest reaches out to shake readers awake, showing them how each person's life touches another, and another, until ultimately history is made. Click the book cover to read more.
HEBREW OR YIDDISH IS NOT INCLUDED
How To Say "Fabulous!" In 8 Languages
by Gerard Mryglot, and Ted Marks
Gay tourism is booming-and with How to Say "Fabulous!" in 8 Different Languages, you'll always know how to speak the native tongue. With How to Say "Fabulous!" in 8 Different Languages, gay travellers will always know how to speak the language, regardless of where they end up. This hilarious phrasebook features hundreds of phrases, all translated into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. In the Dining Out section, for instance, you'll learn how to say: "nonsmoking"; "coffee"; "Can I have a menu?"; and "I am a vegetarian." But also learn how to say: "Our waiter is hot."; "You've had worse things in your mouth!" and "Hurry up, my clothes are going out of style!" There are also sections on Night Life ("Are there any gay bars around here?"), Shopping ("Those shoes! I must have those shoes!"), Making Friends ("I am a flight attendant/ choreographer/ actor/ owner of a greeting card store/ etc."), Working Out ("Do you have Nautilus equipment?"), Parting Glances ("I never meant to hurt you."), and much more. With a hilarious mix of practical, impractical, bitchy, and often obscene phrases, How to Say "Fabulous!" in 8 Different Languages is the perfect companion for gay tourists and armchair travelers.
The Family Flamboyant
Race Politics, Queer Families, Jewish Lives
(SUNY Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory)
by Marla Brettschneider
The Family Flamboyant is a graceful and lucid account of the many routes to family formation. Weaving together personal experience and political analysis in an examination of how race, gender, sexuality, class, and other hierarchies function in family politics, Marla Brettschneider draws on her own experience in a Jewish, multiracial, adoptive, queer family in order to theorize about the layered realities that characterize families in the United States today. Brettschneider uses critical race politics, feminist insight, class-based analysis, and queer theory to offer a distinct and distinctly Jewish contribution to both the family debates and the larger project of justice politics
A graphic novel
by Perry Moore
August 2007. Hyperion
In 1954, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, citing the bare, parted legs of Batman's ward, Robin, said comic books promoted homosexuality. Since then there have been questions about other characters in tights. But no guesses are needed for Thom Creed, he is a gay superhero who even falls for another gay superhero. Perry Moore, the executive producer of "Chronicles of Narnia" (and Virginia Beach native, and former Clinton White House intern) has authored this with the help of Maurice Sendak and Stan Lee. Thom Creed is a gay high school student who lives with his dad who is a fallen superhero. They are alone since the mother left and she hasn't been seen in years. But Thom has powers of his own and is asked to join the League. So he tries out for the squad without his dad knowing. It takes a long time to find out why the dad was kicked out of the league of heroes and why the mom left. What will he need to keep secret? His identity? His powers? His desires? Gay characters in comics have often met awful ends-like Marvel's Northstar, who was impaled and resurrected as a zombie assassin. But in "Hero," Creed doesn't meet that sort of ending.. or does he?
NOT TO BE CHEEKY, BUT IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN
In NYC and gone to a strip joint, I do not have to tell you the number of Haredi men who are there
Therefore, in the interest of Shalom Bayit, here is a guide:
The Little Bit Naughty Book of Lap Dancing for Your Lover
by Rebecca Drury
SEPTEMBER 28, 2006 (right in the middle of the Days of Awe).
Drury, an accomplished British lap dancer (who trained at the Royal Academy for over a decade), offers quick lessons that teach all the popular moves, and empowers you, to "slap and tickle," "body slide, and do a grinding straddle. Step by step instructions and photos make it quite easy to learn. Plus there are helpful hints, tips, and secrets of the trade on eye contact, ways to strip provocatively, and how to use props.
SECRET ANNIVERSARIES OF THE HEART
NEW AND SELECTED STORIES
by LEV RAPHAEL
JANUARY 15, 2006, Leapfrog
When Lev Raphael published "Dancing on Tisha B'av", he broke new ground in the publishing world. Never before in one book had an American writer dealt with the conflicts between homosexuality and traditional Judaism, linked the chilling mind diseases of antisemitism and homophobia, and borne witness not only to the legacy of Holocaust survivors but the suffering and conflicts of their children. Winner of the prestigious Lambda Literary Award, Raphael opened the door to a new kind of American Jewish fiction. Secret Anniversaries of the Heart unites the best stories from Dancing on Tisha B'av with 12 new stories, including one never before published. Here we encounter tales of antisemitism on the college campus, of self-hatred and body obsession, and of survivor parents whose only response to the Holocaust is to isolate themselves, unconsciously committing a kind of emotional suicide. In a collection that encompasses over 25 years of his award-winning stories, Lev Raphael proves himself a visionary like James Baldwin and shares Anita Brookner's gift for dramatizing the pain of seemingly quiet lives in stories that are both passionate and precise. Click the book cover above to read more.
The G Quotient
Why Gay Executives are Excelling as Leaders... And What Every Manager Needs to Know
by Kirk Snyder
JUNE 12 2006. Jossey Bass.
The G Quotient is a clarion call to all leaders wanting to successfully lead others and build winning twenty-first-century organizations. It is a call to authenticity, to presence, and to leading by being fully human. It is for any executive, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, because Snyder's insights will help to improve everyone's leadership skills. It's a must-read not only for those interested in diversity issues but also for anyone who seeks to understand the secret of successful executive leadership in today's rapidly changing workplace. The G Quotient identifies a management phenomenon that will change the way people view their professional roles in the workplace. Based on a landmark five-year study, The G Quotient redefines successful leadership for all managers. Organizations and working units under the leadership of white-collar gay males are collectively experiencing 35 percent higher levels of employee engagement, job satisfaction, and workplace morale in addition to reporting greater employer loyalty and individual productivity. It is proof that today's employees are responding to a new type of organizational leader. Click to read more.
Are We There Yet?
Knopf Books for Young Readers, Summer 2005,
Grades 9 and up, Ages 14 and up
From School Library Journal: Danny Silver, 23, is a workaholic advertising executive; his laid-back, 17-year-old brother, Elijah, absolutely drives him wild with his untied sneakers and lack of focus. The teen, who once idolized his sibling, now feels that he would never want to be Danny. The brothers are tricked by their parents into vacationing together in Italy [to the Jewish ghettos of Venice and Firenze]. They both dread the experience, believing that they have little in common. Once abroad, they tiptoe around one another, connecting when they're in museums together, a reminder of childhood occasions spent similarly with their mother and father. They both doubt that there is enough between them to rekindle a bond. And then Elijah has a chance encounter with a college dropout with whom he falls head over heels in love. When he introduces Julia to Danny, she finds that she's attracted to him, too, and that catapults Danny into a situation in which he has to determine his priorities. The insightful and gently humorous narration alternates between the thoughts and experiences of the two brothers. Teens will relate deeply to Elijah and gain insight into Danny's attitudes as well. [note: these two brother build their lives and identities up after visiting the ghettos where Jewish life once flourished.] Levithan, author of Boy Meets Boy (2003) and The Realm of Possibility (2004, both Knopf), gets better and better with each book. This novel will appeal to a broader audience than the earlier titles and is a priority choice. References to sexual behavior and marijuana and acid use are included.
Note to MyJewishBooks.com readers: David was born in Short Hills NJ and lives in Hoboken. His parents were Jewish community leaders. A graduate of Brown University, he celebrated his bar mitzvah at age 13 at Masada. As a child, his parents made a point of visiting Jewish sites on their family vacations (just like in the book). David just completed his fourth novel, which will be published in the future. It focuses on Abe Stein, America's first gay Jewish U.S. president (WIDE AWAKE). Click the book cover above to read more.
The Gay Uncle's Guide to Parenting
By Brett Berk
Spring 2008, Crown
Berk, a former preschool principal and consultant to the CTW Childrens TV Workshop and Nickelodeon pens this guide for uncles.
The View from Stalin's Head
by AARON HAMBURGER
March 2004, paperback Random House
The Washington Post writes, "This debut collection of stories, most of them set in Prague, brings to mind the dream Kenneth Tynan tells of in his diaries in which his friend Antonia Fraser is asked if it's true that she has converted to Judaism. "Yes," she says. "But as Dr. Jonathan Miller once said, 'I'm not a Jew. I'm Jew-ish.' " The narrators of several of these 10 clunky and unpolished tales are American, gay and Jewish, but the most urgent question in the stories is the extent to which the characters will embrace any categorical identity. " 'Art is my religion,' " the narrator says in "Exile." " 'I'm not a big fan of Judaism. It excludes certain groups, like women.' I paused. 'And fags.' " He's not quite comfortable with being a Jew, but he's obsessed with the fact that he's Jewish. His commitment -- even to the religion of art -- is halfhearted at best. In the same story, the narrator asks a Czech friend if he agrees that Milan Kundera is a genius. The friend replies that he's never read Kundera's books, and then the narrator admits to himself that he "only made it halfway through" one of Kundera's novels but had just "wanted to offer a compliment" to his friend's country..." PW writes, "Callow young Americans grapple uneasily with Judaism and homosexuality as they navigate a cruddy, crumbling post-Communist Prague in this debut collection. The 10 hit-or-miss stories capture a narrow spectrum of expatriate life, populated by characters uncomfortable in their own skins; this awkwardness is the focus of Hamburger's best efforts. In "A Man of the Country," the protagonist endures a yearlong semiflirtation with massive, handsome Jirka, growing ever more frustrated ("I'm more than an asexual sidekick or polite, helpful English teacher"), but never quite willing to take the initiative. In "Exile," the artist-pornographer protagonist infiltrates a tiny Jewish community led by a fierce, closeted lesbian and makes friends with an eccentric Czech student of theology. The theology student also appears in "Jerusalem," seduced by insecure American expatriate Rachel after they meet at an Israeli folk-dancing class. Rachel, obsessed by her weight and her nagging Jewish mother, is little more than a caricature; this is also true of Debra, the activist protagonist of "You Say You Want a Revolution" ("She didn't want a family, not the traditional kind. She didn't want diapers and graham crackers and apple juice"), and Sarah, a strident tourist visiting Prague in "This Ground You Are Standing On." Hamburger overshoots the mark with these attempts at satire, but his sketches of oddball Prague natives are sharp and affectionate and his evocation of Prague in the 1990s (cheap Vietnamese markets, tough beef and sour cabbage, expatriate cafes) is vivid and unexpected." Click the book cover above to read more.
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Yossi & Jagger (2002)
Starring: Ohad Knoller, Yehuda Levi
Director: Eytan Fox
Based on a true story of two soldiers
Wrestling With God and Men
Homosexuality and the Jewish Tradition
by Rabbi Steven Greenberg
February 2004. University of Wisconsin Press
Greenberg is an Orthodox rabbi who is also an out gay person. He realized he was gay at an early age, but sublimated his feelings toward his other passion, the study of Torah. The yeshiva environment allowed him to throw himself into study in an intense male community, where sexuality was placed a distant second to immersion in Torah. Greenberg received his B.A. from Yeshiva University but doubts about his sexuality began to plague him. While studying abroad in Israel, he sought out a highly respected Orthodox rabbi, Rav Eliashuv, and told him "I am attracted to both men and women! What should I do?" Eliashuv answered: "My dear one, then you have twice the power of love. Use it carefully." Shocked and exhilarated by this response, Greenberg decided to go on in his spiritual life and seek ordination as an Orthodox rabbi. He graduated from Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). But even as a practicing rabbi, he knew his journey was still not complete. Deep in the closet, he practiced celibacy, trying to find a way to balance his commitment to halakhah with what he saw as his God-given identity as a gay man. The first step was to publish an article, Gayness and God pseudonymously in Tikkun Magazine. In it, he discusses the halakhic issues surrounding Jewish discussions of sexuality, and the hope of a welcoming, observant Judaism for all Jews. The publication of the article gave him the strength he needed, and he came out thereafter in American and Israeli Jewish publications. Much of the Orthodox community, including his colleagues at RIETS, were angered. But he has been shown support by and given support to the increasing number of Orthodox Jews wishing to live observant and truthful lives. He was prominently featured in the documentary Trembling Before G-d, the first such film about Orthodox gay Jews. In this book, Rabbi Greenberg explores the Torah and Homosexuality, Leviticus 18:22, the love between David and Jonathan, the creation of Eve and Adam, the story of the destruction of Sodom, David's sister, and the nexus of Jewishness and sexuality. Some reviewers take issue with Greenberg's use of the words "perhaps" and "maybe" when it comes to discussing the Torah, but I assume they have never been in a Torah study class. Click to read more.
by HANS WARREN
April 2005. University of Wisconsin Press
A Dutch Jewish boy hides out on a farm during World War II, and has an affair with the farmer's daughter.. and the farmer's son. Click to read more.
Books from a Gay Jewish Cartoon Strip, now a motion picture film:
A Young Adult novel
by Paul Ruditis
Summer 2005. Simon
I just love the cover... yeah yeah.. don't you wish you had bar mitzvah after parties like this one they plan?? Like it or hate it.. teens in America are currently having oral sex and oral sex parties. This is a novel about what really happens in one school and the fears and ramifications and rumours.
One Woman's Search for the Perfect Sperm Donor
by Harlyn Aizley
What do two nice Jewish girls do when they want to start a family? They can marry two nice Jewish boys, or, if they happen to be lesbians, they can buy sperm online from California! Buying Dad is a hilarious, edgy, first--person chronicle of a year in the life of a woman engaged in a very alternative family-planning experience. Peeling back the layers of self-indulgence accumulated in 30-odd years as a self-proclaimed gay, childless, albeit happy neurotic, Harlyn Aizley takes the reader on one of the most personal, intimate and utterly female journeys any woman, gay or straight, can make -- that of becoming a mother. Aizley's story begins with the search for sperm -- known or unknown donor? Delivered on dry ice or in a nitrogen tank? The journey unfolds within the context of her relationship with her female partner, her mother's cancer diagnosis, the threat of her own possible infertility and finally pregnancy itself. Aizley's wry voice and candid prose embrace this confluence of major life events with the humor and wisdom that make Buying Dad accessible to any woman who ever considered ending a lifetime of sleep-filled nights and becoming a parent. Click to read more.
A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America
by Scott Poulson-Bryant
Yes, yes.. I know what you are saying. This is a meditation on African American men and African men in America and the idea that they are hung.
Well, isn't the same true about Jewish men?
Isn't it ?
I am quite sure I have heard that Jewish men have the same reputation
This book is a look at the pervasive belief that African American men are prodigiously endowed. Scott Poulson-Bryant interweaves his own experiences as a black man in America with witty analyses of how black male sexuality is expressed in books, film, television, sports, and pornography. "Hung" is a double entendre, referring not only to penis size but to the fact that black men were once literally hung from trees, often for their perceived sexual prowess and the supposed risk it posed to white women. As a poignant reminder, he begins his book with a letter to Emmett Till, the teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in the mid-1950s for whistling at a white woman. For Poulson-Bryant and other men of his generation, society's deep-seated obsession with the sexual powers of black men has had an enormous, if often deceptive, influence on how they perceive themselves and on the assumptions made by others. His tales of his sexual encounters with both sexes, along with anecdotes about the lives of various friends and colleagues, are wryly and at times shockingly revealing. Enduring racial perceptions have shaped popular culture as well, and Poulson-Bryant offers a thorough, thought-provoking look at media-created images of the "Well-Hung Black Male." He deftly deconstructs movies like Mandingo and Shaft, articles in the popular press, and edgy works like Robert Mapplethorpe's Black Book, while also providing distinctive profiles of icons like porn star Lexington Steele and rapper L.L. Cool J.
Hung takes on the phallic fixation and uncover what lies below. Readers may be scandalized, but they'll also have plenty to ponder about America's views on how black men measure up.
by Steven Cooper
July 2004. Alyson Publications.
Valencia Brandywine, heiress to a hotel empire is missing. Her brother, Rico, is on a quest to find her. But considering the history of the Brandywine family, this is no ordinary case of a missing person. Valencia and Rico were kidnapped many times as children. Huge sums of money were drained from the corporation to free them. But Valencia kidnapped as an adult? Rico doesn't buy it. That is, until the ransom note arrives. The demand: seven million dollars and Rico's denouncement of his homosexuality. Seems that Valencia Brandywine has been kidnapped by Walk Away With Jesus, a group of fundamentalist zealots who are determined to convert the world's homosexuals to a life of heterosexuality. What follows is a romp through psychotherapy, religion, romance and several inauspicious erections. Rico, with dear friend D'vora Wasserman at his side, trots the globe in search of Valencia...a search that turns out to be a deeply personal and somewhat mystical journey as well. Rico learns who he is. He learns why he is who he is. He learns about a power that inhabits him, a power he was born with that brings out the very truth in people. Click the book cover above to read more.
A explosive corn chip you can choke on. All the rage this Summer in Cairo. For only 5 cents per bag. Not kosher certified however. Abu Ammar Corn Chips. What will they think of next?
UNDER THE SUN
A MUSIC CD
By ARI GOLD
Music by the former Ramaz Yeshiva student. Born and raised in the Bronx and currently a resident of the Lower East Side of NYC, Ari Gold has been "wowing" audiences in his home town and around the world as a recording and performing artist. Ari's career began at age five, when he was discovered singing at his brother's bar-mitzva. This led to a successful career as a child vocalist singing on over 400 jingles, doing various animated voices and back-up singing for the likes of Diana Ross and the cartoon Jem. Ari's first following began in his home town of NYC where he has performed to packed houses at many NYC hotspots including Joe's Pub, Fez, China Club, Barracuda, Metronome, Flamingo East, Pyramid, SBNY, xl, Bar d'O, Starlight and CBGB's. He has also taken his show on the road to Kansas City, Philadelphia, LA, Milan, London, Israel and most recently, San Francisco where he performed at the DNA Lounge. Gold released his self-titled debut CD in 2001 to rave reviews from the press without the backing of a record label. The album anticipated pop music's movement to a more R&B sound and included explicit lyrics of love songs sung to a man by another man-something the genre had practically never seen or heard of before. The album went on to take home the 2002 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Debut Recording and Ari was later named one of Genre Magazine's "Men We Love" of 2002.
Cllick for more info.
GOOD gay travel writing
Edited by Raphael Kadushin
University of Wisconsin Press; (February 2004).
The editor writes that this is GOOD non overwrought travel writing, not the best, not great, but GOOD writing that avoids cliches. And good it is. They are more about travels to oneself if not only travels to a place. Philip Gambone's offers "Do You Join in Singing the Same Bigness?" details his stays in China and a life-altering trip to Vietnam; Edmund White adds "Death in the Desert" about the impact of AIDS during a stay in the Middle East; Matthew Link's "No Man's Land" depicts his trip to the literal ends of the earth-Antarctica. Boyer Rickel goes to Italy in "Reading the Body"; Tim Miller's writes of "1001 Beds"; and J.S. Marcus's grabs you with "Everywhere." Other pieces are by Mack Freedman, who goes to work in a salmon cannery in Alaska and finds an obsession, perhaps an unrequited one; Wayne Koestenbaum, who travel to the highs and lows of Viennese culture.. Vienna, a place that exiled his father and nearly killed him; Michael Lowenthal, who goes to the Scottish Highlands; Bruce Shenitz, who ventures to an Untropical Island; and others. Click to read more.
MORE GOOD GAY TRAVEL WRITING
Edited by Raphael Kadushin
University of Wisconsin Press; Fall 2008.
There are weekend vacations, quick getaways, and overnight jaunts. But in this border-hopping anthology of travel memoir and fiction, every trip is a big one, as an advance guard of adventurous writers-both seasoned names and fresh voices-scatter across the globe, face the pure euphoria and sheer anxiety of travel, and survive a lot of very fast living. Wanderlust here comes in every shape and crosses every boundary, from Cairo to Florida, from Corfu and Rome to Vienna, Taormina, the Dordogne, and San Francisco. For Aaron Hamburger the big trip is a brave flirtation in Prague. For Dale Peck it's an oddly romantic whirl through the clubs of London, and for Michael Klein it is the golden light of Provincetown, where everything seems possible. Duncan Fallowell sees classic sensuality in a Sicilian waiter, and Trebor Healey tries to find some sense of home along purely American backroads. Mack Friedman wanders through Mexico, Andrew Holleran confronts the wasteland of northern Florida, Bruce Benderson returns to a transformed San Francisco, Raphael Kadushin drives through a furry Yorkshire, and Ty Geltmaker remembers Rome when it really did approximate la dolce vita. Edmund White takes a double trip, through Paris and Morocco, and Martin Sherman visits a Greek island, where the intrepid traveler, just starting out, confronts his own loneliness. Contributors include Mack Friedman, Ty Geltmaker, Aaron Hamburger, Michael Klein, Martin Sherman, and more. Click to read more.
FAVORITE VIDEOS OF THE MONTH:
(sadly, some investors/parkers already beat us to it and bought JewTUBE dot com, dot org, and dot net, so we will rely on YouTUBE. Sigh .. the early bird catches the falafel)
On Being Jewish and Queer
by Angela Brown
August 2004. Alyson Publications.
Tossed between sometimes contradictory cultural imperatives, queer Jews often find themselves struggling to integrate their religious beliefs with their gayness. Regardless of their age or sex, they find that resolving these conflicts is a soul-searching experience, and in this astonishing collection of stories, these experiences are revealed in surprising, poignant, and hilarious ways. More than 30 contributors from around the world (including Israel, Serbia, and Australia) offer a staggering perspective on issues of identity, institutions, and culture from the viewpoint of the queer outsider struggling to belong. Ina Fried describes her traditional Jewish wedding in which the bride was once a man and the groom was once a woman. Village Voice writer Aaron Hamburger brings to life a dark and moody Prague synagogue where Friday services were led by a strange closeted woman. Simon Sheppard describes wrestling with the ramifications of being a gay Jew attracted to Palestinian men. Other contributors include: Leslie Feinberg, Bruce Shenitz, Lesléa Newman, Bonnie J. Morris, Elana Dykewomon, Ronni Sanlo, David May. Sharing common experiences as well as differences is key to developing understanding, and this important work takes a bold step toward establishing a healthily integrated society. Click the book cover above to read more.
by Glen Hanson (Illustrator), Allan Neuwirth (Author)
September 2003. Alyson Press.
Chelsea Boys is the first collection of Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth's popular comic strip. The strip follows the often outrageous antics, wild sexcapades, and everyday heartbreaks of three gay roommates, as different as can be from one another, living together in a three bedroom apartment in the heart of New York's trendy Chelsea neighborhood: Nathan Klein, a short, neurotic baseball obsessed Jewish forty-something native New Yorker; Sky, a naive buff yet deeply spiritual art student raised on a farming commune in Canada; and Soiree (Delroy), a black diva who masks his inner pain with a rapier wit and outrageous style. Filled with humor, humanity, and wry observations on life in a modern setting, Chelsea Boys presents a family you've never seen before, and storytelling that speaks the truth rather than playing to stereotypes. Included are story lines including Nathan's Jewish pet dog (Miss Marmelstein); Sky's Professor Flemstein; the artist Kelvin Cohen (known as Horatio Fellatio to his Rambam Hebrew School classmates on Long Island); Nathan's 6 year nephew, Jason Harris, with a big schmeckel and a desire to paint his nails; Nathan's sister, Risa; Nathan's mother (who puts hot dogs in her Matza Ball soup, which is a clue to a future medical problem); Sky's dyke friend Annie; Nathan's lesbian couple friends Rickie and Lucie, and even a Barbraholics Meeting, Click to read more.
The Man I Might Become
Gay Men Write About Their Fathers
by Bruce Shenitz (Editor), Andrew Holleran
Stories from alienation to reconciliation, through perceived insurmountable barriers. Bruce Shenitz, a Newsweek reporter for 14 years and the Executive Editor of OUT Magazine is a member of the Town and Village Synagogue in Manhattan. He has edited a book about gay men and their fathers. Twenty-eight essays are included in the book, which, taken together, offer a picture of how the lives of gay sons and their fathers unfold. "The anecdotes one hears in any gay lifetime," writes Andrew Holleran, in his foreword, "include every conceivable combination of father and sons-fathers who were despised, adored, crucial, irrelevant, remote or intimate-just like the fathers of straight men and women." From the first piece in the collection, Peter M. Krask's "The Question I Asked Him," to the last, Bernard Cooper's "Winner Take Nothing," the stories amply demonstrate this observation, and offer a moving pageant of lost opportunities and regrets, comforts and sorrows, hatred and affection. "These essays move sequentially from alienation toward reconciliation," writes editor Bruce Shenitz in his introduction, "with several intermediate steps-puzzled incomprehension, grudging acceptance, strained attempts at understanding-and a detour into sexual mythologies. Whether they are read in sequence or at random, they provide a rough typology of father-son relationships that are richly different from each other. There are no simple explanations for why some of these relationships deepen while others never move beyond painful confrontations; what these writings offer is the suggestion of a range of possibilities." Includes contributions by Andrew Solomon, Jesse Green, Bernard Cooper, Mark Doty, Dan Savage, Stephen McCauley, Joseph Hansen, James Saslow, Jaim Manrique, and many others
Click to read more.
QUEER COMMENTARY AND THE HEBREW BIBLE
(Journal for the Study of the Old Testament)
Edited by Ken Stone
Queer studies and "queer readings" have become important interpretative tools in literary and cultural studies but have thus far had little impact on biblical interpretation. This mostly Christian publisher has published this innovative and creative grouping of essays in Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible. So, what exactly does a queer commentary of the Bible entail? Fortunately, the contributors do not limit themselves to a strict definition of a queer reading of the bible but take a variety of approaches that examines the Bible from the perspective of reading from queer experiences and practices as well as constructions of sexuality and gender in the bible. In his introduction Ken Stone defines the goal of the book as offering "a range of approaches to biblical interpretation that take as their point of departure a critical interrogation and active contestation of the many ways in which the Bible is and has been read to support heteronormative and normalizing configurations of sexual practices and sexual identities." Seven "queer readings" of the Hebrew Bible form the bulk of the book, followed by three responses. The contributors to this volume show the heterogeneous nature of the field. Essays include: "YHWH as Erastes," Theodore W. Jennings, Jr.; "Yahweh as Top: A Lost Targum," Roland Boer; "Violent Femmes and S/M: Queering Samson and Delilah," Lori Rowlett; "Lovers and Raisin Cakes: Food, Sex and Divine Insecurity in Hosea," Ken Stone; "The Gift of Voice, the Gift of Tears: A Queer Reading of Lamentations in the Context of AIDS," Mona West; "Remembering Pelotit: A Queer Midrash on Calling Down Fire," Michael Carden; "Cruising as Methodology: Homoeroticism and the Scriptures," Timothy R. Koch; "(Cor)Responding: A Letter to the Editor," Tat-Siong Benny Liew; "A Gay Male Ethicist's Response to Queer Readings of the Bible," Daniel T. Spencer; "Yahwist Desires: Imagining Divinity Queerly," Laurel C. Schneider. Click to read more.
The Instinct Guide to Oral Sex
by Ben R. Rogers, Joel Perry, David L. Kelly
From the highly sexed editors of the irreverent Instinct Magazine comes a painstakingly thorough and hysterically illuminating guidebook to perfecting the oft misunderstood art of a good blowjob. Whether you are a straight woman or a gay man, chances are you have either done it or been asked to do it. The question is, did you suck? Well, class is in session as hundreds of surveys conducted with givers and receivers of both sexes, lead to interviews with subjects on how to go from knob slob to blow job champ. 15 chapters and 20 black and white illustrations cover every inch of this topic, while color commentary , and hints and tips from sexologists, porn-stars and sex-workers round out what could be the greatest gift to happy relationships ever published. Click to read more.
by Stanley E. Ely
What happens when a Manhattan Jewish copywriter joins a psychotherapy group where he finds himself the sole gay member? Perfect Mondays follows Greg Fine's ups and downs in that delicate place as well as his relationships, humorous and poignant, with friends, potential lovers and family. This novel points a camera at an emotionally charged twenty-first century situation, an unmarried man's slippery path toward his senior years. Click to read more.
WITH YOU IN SPIRIT
by Steven Cooper
Alyson Publications, 2003
"My father's body was found floating facedown in the waters off Chappaquiddick. Naturally, everyone assumed a Kennedy did it." Well perhaps not everyone, as Graydove Hoffenstein, the Native American Jewish heir to a parking meter empire discovers after his mother, Celeste Garrison Hoffenstein, is arrested and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her husband, Colin Lightfoot Hoffenstein. But Gray believes in his mother's innocence, as does his sister Chaka, who arranges a seance at the family's Martha's Vineyard home with the renowned psychic Brenda Cloudholder, who arrives in a Yugo driven by her spookily mysterious chauffeur, Derderva. So begins Steven Cooper's rollicking tale of love, murder, and ghosts, where skepticism meets spiritualism, ghosts communicate using lemons and Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," and family eccentricities hold the key to just about everything. As Gray tries to juggle both a police investigation and Brenda Cloudholder's increasingly weird communications with the afterlife, he has problems beyond getting his mother out of jail. His best friend, Stevie, has begun dating Gray's younger sister Skye; his Puerto Rican boyfriend, Pedro, has decided to become a woman named Carmen Cuernevaca; and his sister Chaka has decided to become black. With You in Spirit charms and delights as it races toward a resolution, which is not just rewarding but deeply moving as well. Steven Cooper's debut novel is an uproarious blend of mystery and camp humor that will have you begging for a sequel. Click to read more.
The Best Short Stories of Lesléa Newman
by Lesléa Newman
2003. Alyson Publications
The stories collected here span the years 1988 to 2002, during which time Lesléa Newman wrote six volumes of short stories: A Letter to Harvey Milk, Secrets, Every Woman's Dream, Out of the Closet and Nothing to Wear, Girls Will Be Girls, and She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not. In Newman's prize-winning story "A Letter to Harvey Milk," Harry Weinberg, a 77-year-old Holocaust survivor, takes a writing class in which he unearths memories that force both him and his writing teacher, a Jewish lesbian, to see their lives differently. "Right Off the Bat" is a monologue by a 12-year old girl whose lesbian mothers have been gay-bashed. "Eggs McMenopause" tells the story of how a sleep-deprived butch finds a unique solution to the trials and tribulations of menopause. In "The Babka Sisters," a women's studies student interviews a nursing home resident and hears a tale the woman has never told anyone: the story of the girl she fell in love with in high school. And in "Mothers of Invention," a couple test their relationship when one woman decides she wants to have a baby and the other woman does not. Newman's stories covers a dazzling array of themes pertaining to contemporary lesbian life, including long-term relationships, one-night stands, family-of-origin angst, motherhood, friendships with gay men, AIDS, breast cancer, aging, loss, and bisexuality. Many of these stories explore Jewish identity as well. Each story in this collection is told with Newman's trademark wit, honesty, talent, and compassion. Click to read more.
Adventures of a Joe Boy
by Joe Phillips
A freshmen gets an unexpected surprise when he's confronted by a group of seniors in the shower; An internet hookup leads to a very satisfying misunderstanding; A young hottie and his alien best-friend prove that gay life in the future will be very familiar; These are just a few of the stories you will find in this colorful, funny, engaging, and sexy collection. . Click to read more.
Navy Men of World War II
Evan Bachner, 47, the son of a WWII Navy sailor, a photo historian, and Columbia Business School graduate (cbs 84) was working at Merrill Lynch and came across an unusual picture of a naked gunner in the St. Georges Channel by Horace Bristol from WWII's Pacific Theater of operations. That started him on a quest of collecting the picture's of America's greatest generation at ease on Pacific islands, atolls, and ships, as the prepared for gruesome battles with the Japanese. The pictures honor these very ordinary men and heroes in poses that are not the standard war photos of men in the midst of battle. These uncopyrighted photos were actually taken during World War II by the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit which was formed in 1942 by photographer Edward J. Steichen. (The over 400,000 photos are stored at the National Archives in Greenbelt MD). It had six photographers who traveled with the Navy and took pictures of military men training, in combat and in their free time. The photographs appeared in newspapers and magazines during World War II, but most of those published were of men in battle. The 150 portraits and pictures in Bachner's book are the more homo-social ones that were never published in stateside newspapers. Photographers in the WWII unit included Wayne Miller, and Howard Liberman, as well as Victor Jorgensen, Steichen, Bristol, and Barrett Gallagher. Click to read more.
IN JEWISH TEXAS
A FAMILY MEMOIR
by Stanley E. Ely
Stanley Ely says that when the fiftieth or so person confronted him with a skeptical, "You mean you're Jewish, and you're from Texas?" he decided to do more than smile and say, "Yes." The result is this funny, caustic and nostalgic tale in the tradition of popular regionally and ethnically focused memoirs. Around the beginning of this century, Ely's parents (as young children) and grandparents immigrated to Galveston, fleeing oppression as Jews in Russia and Romania. Their arrival sets Ely's memoir in motion. Combining the stories of the author's grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings and friends and including an abundance of family photos, the book continues until today, as Ely faces his own senior years living in New York. Though the book is not a typical "coming out" story, the reader also learns of Ely's gradual and at times reluctant acceptance of himself as a gay man. The story of Ely's family and their friends reflects the impressive growth of Dallas and its Jewish population in the first half of this century. As he narrates the building of new lives in Texas, Ely also portrays the integration of a minority segment of Jewish immigrants in America outside the great cities of the North. Of himself, the author tells of growing up in Dallas within the security of an intensely Jewish society. Then he prepares for the moment of his first departure for college in the North, and he thinks of his mother's arrival from Russia as a girl of eight. Of his own first significant step away from Texas, he says his mother "probably knew-and later I also realized-that that was the eventual crossing of an ocean for me."
By now, Ely has lived in Manhattan for four decades. Yet he finds himself telling friends, "I'm going home for Passover" as he prepares for another annual trip to Texas. Once there, he takes a fresh look and concludes that Texas Jews are different from those elsewhere: they have dual citizenship, in Judaism and in Texas. Click to read more.
Homosexuality and Civilization
by Louis Crompton, University of Nebraska
Belknap. Harvard University Press, October 2003.
Louis Crompton chronicles the lives and achievements of homosexual men and women alongside a darker history of persecution, as he compares the Christian West with the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, Judea, Arab Spain, imperial China, and pre-Meiji Japan. Ancient Greek culture celebrated same-sex love in history, literature, and art, making high claims for its moral influence. By contrast, Jewish religious leaders in the sixth century BCE. branded male homosexuality as a capital offense and, later, blamed it for the destruction of the biblical city of Sodom. When these two traditions collided in Christian Rome during the late empire, the tragic repercussions were felt throughout Europe and the New World. Louis Crompton traces Church-inspired mutilation, torture, and burning of "sodomites" in sixth-century Byzantium, medieval France, Renaissance Italy, and in Spain under the Inquisition. But Protestant authorities were equally committed to the execution of homosexuals in the Netherlands, Calvin's Geneva, and Georgian England. The root cause was religious superstition, abetted by political ambition and sheer greed. Yet from this cauldron of fears and desires, homoerotic themes surfaced in the art of the Renaissance masters-Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Sodoma, Cellini, and Caravaggio-often intertwined with Christian motifs. Homosexuality also flourished in the court intrigues of Henry III of France, Queen Christina of Sweden, James I and William III of England, Queen Anne, and Frederick the Great. He includes the thoughts of Plato, Cicero, Socrates, Francis Bacon, Samurai warriors, Sappho, William of Orange, as well as the writers of the Talmud. Click to read more.
TREMBLING BEFORE G-D
A film/DVD by Sandi Simcha DuBowski
2001 film (Sundance); DvD Released October 2003.
New Yorker Video (Distributor). Trembling Before G-d is an unprecedented feature documentary that shatters assumptions about faith, sexuality, and religious fundamentalism. Built around intimately told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma religious identity and tradition in the world. In addition to the 2 discs of the celebrated, award winning film, the dvd version includes the Theatrical trailer; a mini featurette - "TREMBLING ON THE ROAD": A look at the life-changing movement of the film around the world; the Director's Short Film - TOMBOYCHIK; an interview with the Director, Sandi Simcha Dubowski; a conversation with Editor/Creative Collaborator, Susan Korda; More With Rabbi Steve Greenberg: The First Openly Gay Orthodox Rabbi; More interviews With the featured Rabbis; a look Behind the Silhouettes; a profile of Petach Lev: The Trembling Israeli Education Project; Mark: The Musical; a Deleted Scene: Sara and Her Kids who came to do the silhouette lightings; a discussion of What is the Atonement Ceremony for Sexual Sins?, and a list of International Resources, Links and Glossary. Number of discs: 2.
Click to read more.
by Matt Bernstein Sycamore
Suspect Thoughts Press.
Sycamore, who grew up on Sycamore Street, debuts this collection of stories with keen humor. Somewhere between autobio and fiction, the narrator moves from Boston to post grunge Seattle to Manhattan in the 1990s. Of this book, Michael Lowenthal (The Same Embrace) wrote, "when the senses were first spanked by Sycamore's shamelessly frank, hilariously deadpan, flamboyantly raunchy stories, I felt as though I was being woken frlom a literary slumber. His voice is fresh in both senses of the word: new and impudent." Annie Sprinkle (famous Jews porn star, author, sexologist) adds: "Each chapter reads like a stack on Nan Goldin color photos come to life." Click to read more.
By Kenny Fries
Univ of Wisconsin Press, 9/2003.
In this poetic, introspective memoir, Kenny Fries illustrates his intersecting identities as gay, Jewish, and disabled. While learning about the history of his body through medical records and his physical scars, Fries discovers just how deeply the memories and psychic scars run. As he reflects on his relationships with his family, his compassionate doctor, the brother who resented his disability, and the men who taught him to love, he confronts the challenges of his life. Body, Remember is a story about connection, a redemptive and passionate testimony to one man's search for the sources of identity and difference
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Queer Theory and the Jewish Question
(Between Men~Between Women: Lesbian and Gay Studies)
by Daniel Boyarin, Daniel Itzkovitz, Ann Pellegrini
Columbia University Press, 2003.
With important essays by such well-known figures in queer studies and gender studies as Judith Butler, Daniel Boyarin, Marjorie Garber, Michael Moon, and Eve Sedgwick, this book is not so much interested in revealing -- outing -- "queer Jews" as it is in exploring the complex social arrangements and processes through which modern Jewish and homosexual identities emerged as traces of each other during the last two hundred years. The essays in this volume explore the relays between Jewishness and queerness, between homophobia and antisemitism, and between queer theory and theorizations of Jewishness..."
Click to read more.
As Nana Lea told Alvin, "Better a shiksa than a man." What was he to do? When good Jewish boys become porn actors, they either become producers, or move on to become novelists. And why not? They're Jewish, aren't they. This is a funny novel by Orloff, a former red-mohawk wearing Jewish go-go boy and porn actor, cum novelist. I MARRIED AN EARTHLING imagines first contact with an alien race known for its benevolence and its outrageously good fashion sense. The result is a thoroughly original genre of fiction--queer sci-fi social commentary. Chester Julian is a queer goth high-school senior. He battles teenage homophobes and the banality of suburbia. Meanwhile, on campy planet Zeeron (where all the most powerful people are hairdressers), an Earth Studies scholar named Norvex 7 is fighting to prove that Earthlings aren't as unevolved as his colleagues think. They take a trip to Earth. What happens when they are mistaken for evil villains instead of fabulous celebrities? How do they escape to San Francisco, where they blend in surprisingly well? All hell breaks loose when they cross paths with the adolescent agony of Chester Julian, a gay Goth Holden Caulfield with acne. Part Jacqueline Susann romantasy, part cheesy Lost in Space episode, this gay comedy will delight any fan of pop culture literature. PW says this novel is a delight. Click to read more.
The King of kings and I
the greatest story ever kvetched
by Jaffe Cohen
Muse Inc writes: Gay comedian Jaffe Cohen brings his popular and hilarious stage show to the page in a comic and very sincere memoir of one Jewish boy's search for belief and sexual identity. Here he combines all the insight and comedy of his successful one-man show, "The King of Kings & I", with a more detailed telling of his gay coming of age and his spiritual quest through the strange and lien world of suburban Christianity, seventies Berkeley Jesus People, and a New Age, desert ashram. Click to read more.
Naked in the Promised Land:
by Lillian Faderman (Author)
January 2003. Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. Faderman's mother and aunt left Latvia in 1923 to work in New York and send back money to their family. They did, but neither could save their loved ones from Hitler's Holocaust, which tormented Faderman's mother endlessly. She suffered recurring psychotic episodes. Her only escape from the brutal labor of her sweatshop job in Los Angeles was her fiercely loved daughter, Lilly, whose poignant dream throughout childhood was to become a movie star and "rescue" her mother. Lilly grew up to become Lil, outwardly tough, inwardly innocent, and hungry for love and success. A beautiful young woman who was learning that her deepest erotic and emotional connections were to women, she found herself in a dangerous but seductive lesbian underworld of addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother's suffering, she entered college (working her way through as a stripper) and became a brilliant student, ultimately achieving a Ph.D. At last she became Lillian - loving partner, devoted mother, charismatic and influential writer, and groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies. Told with wrenching immediacy and great power, this is the nakedly honest - and very American - story of an exceptional woman. Click to read more.
By Michael Lowenthal
November 2002. From the author of THE SAME EMBRACE. This is Lowenthal's second published novel. Jeremy Stull struggles to write his dissertation on the Amish and the laws of expulsion (and self denial for the sake of the collective (gelassenheit)). Jeremy lives with Abner and sadie Yoder and their nine chidren for half a year. How does someone, excluded entirely from the only community they have ever known, live the rest of their life? After extensive interviews with Beulah Glick - a young woman banished from the Amish community because her husband used a car - Jeremy is no closer to understanding her choice than he is to his own peculiar exile. Camp Ironwood, set in the Vermont woods, is more than a summer distraction for restless adolescent boys-it is a place to belong. And not unlike the Amish community, it is a place where the whole (the collective) is greater than the sum of its parts. For Jeremy, first as a camper and later as the co-director, the usual camp activities become their own kind of ritual that binds the community. But when he is blindsided by the seductive charm of Max, a fourteen-year-old boy from Manhattan, all arms and legs and attitude, Jeremy must confront his desires, and worse yet, uncover the dark SECRETS of his beloved Camp Ironwood and its Director (and Max isn't even his real name... hmmm). In this powerful and daring novel, Lowenthal elegantly draws unexpected parallels between the Amish and Camp Ironwood. By doing so, he ingeniously explores an age-old dilemma: individual desires versus the good of a community
. Click to read more.
ZAFTIG. WELL ROUNDED EROTICA
By Hanne Blank.
June 2001, Cleis Press. Editor Hanne Blank writes, "Many of the pieces are frank in celebrating the transformative force of sex, lust, desire, and the recognition that one is desired." Zaftig women, described variously as "full-figured" and "pleasingly plump," have long been a source of fetish and humor in erotic literature. Now the publisher of Best Women's Erotica turns the tables with surprising, steamy stories showcasing the sex lives of women of size and their admirers. "Not only is Blank's work infused with humor and mischievous irony, her delight in her own body and her sexuality is fabulously contagious: she makes you feel good about yourself in every way, shape, and form." Hanne Blank writes: "This is volatile smut. It is succulent and dangerous, excessive and vulnerable. The words and ideas contained in this book will push your buttons, will make you think, will make you wonder about yourself and your attitudes about sex and bodies. The images and scenarios will, I hope, make your nerves sizzle and your panties wet (yes, even if you're a boy) with yearning. Most of all it will make you look at your own body, and the bodies of people around you, with a wider view toward what might move and inspire you to lust and love lusciousness." "How Loretta Got a Schlong" by Anne Tourney is hysterical... "Rosina's Bakery" by Veronica Kelly is a tale of a romance between a patron and the 70 year old bakery owner... "Breathing Lessons" by Eleanor Brown is a standout.
Stomping the Goyim
(Green Integer, 116)
by Michael Disend
This novel is a brilliant fiction, originally published in 1969, about being Jewish, gay, and part of the psychedelic era of the late 1960s. A spaced-out kid from Newark faces his draft board and illuminates his entire generation. William Burroughs wrote of the book: "This is a brilliant novel which also has the virtue of being highly readable from beginning to end." Critic and author Seymour Krim called it "...an important book...I would say Stomping the Goyim is the must book of the significant and historically unique Lower East Side." Like Kerouac's novels, Stomping the Goyim is a work of poetic fiction. Disend's prose, with its sure handling of wit and ironic dialogue, moves muscularly across the battlefields of a country ravaged by spiritual war on all fronts. No one is spared: Jew, Goy, Wop, Homo, Bimbo, Nigger, Honkey--all make their appearance in the book's depiction of a dark and trembling time.
THE SISSY DUCKLING
By Harvey Fierstein and Henry Cole
May 2002. Age 5-8 or more
Elmer, a duck, carries a daisy covered pink backpack. He bakes cookies and produces puppet shows. He is called a sissy by others; his father is embarrassed. Elmer runs away. But when Papa Duck is injured by hunters and can't fly South for the Winter, it is his son, Elmer, who saves the day. After HBO asked Harvey to write a Jewish fairy tale, Mr. Fierstein replied, there are loads of Jewish tales, I would rather do a gay one. And so this was born for the "Happily Ever After" series. Elmer, like Harvey, succeeds by being himself and by not conforming to what others expect. He is therefore better adjusted in later life.
THE JEWISH TRADITION, SEXUALITY AND PROCREATION
By Lewis D. Solomon
April 2002. Rabbi Solomon teaches law at GWU Law School in Washington DC. In this book, he presents the guidance offered by Jewish tradition regarding questions of sexual and reproductive ethics. He includes the spectrum of views from the Orthodoc, Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist traditions. Topics include: Sex and procreation; Premarital sex; marriage; family; assisted reproductive techniques; infertility; asexual reproduction; human cloning; alternative family arrangements; sex pre-selection; genetic testing; genetic engineering; abortion; homosexuality; and "Who is a Jew?".
DATING SECRETS OF THE
by Rabbi Shmuely Boteach.
Hardcover - 256 pages (January 2000) Doubleday. Watch out America, Rabbi Boteach, winner of England's Preacher of the Year Award, the man who caused a stir in the UK, is homeward bound to the States, and tearing up a path in the realm of sex and dating. Hot on the heals of his best selling, KOSHER SEX, he publishes this book, which looks for hidden meaning in the ten commandments. Let me say this... he is good at packaging. It's a cute book, but in the end it's cotton candy. For example, Honor Your Mother and Father = Commandment Numero Five = Why you should bring your boy or girlfriend home to meet the folks. Commandment Four = Honor the Sabbath = Make your dates special and don't take them for granted. Blah blah blah. Click to read more reviews of this book. Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.
The Lives of Gay Men in Israel
(Contraversions: Jews and Other Differences)
by Amir Sumaka'i Fink, Jacob Press
Paperback - 425 pages (December 1999) Stanford Univ
As the relationship between an Israeli broadcaster (and archaeology student) and American Jewish fellow and grad student was coming to an end, they embarked on a book project in which they interviewed dozens of gay men in Israel: old, young, secular, religious, Jewish, Arab. These are their interviews transcribed. Jacob Press adds, "Shachar is an ex-army officer who was raised in a settlement in the Sinai Desert. Walid is a Haifa-born Arab going to college in Tel Aviv. Noam is married man with children who teaches in a religious high school in Jerusalem. Amit is a 21-year-old Tel Aviv "call boy" who grew up in a small rural town. Theo grew up in Nazi Germany and immigrated to Israel under the British Mandate. What do these men have in common? They are all gay, they are all Israeli, and they all tell their stories in "Independence Park: The Lives of Gay Men in Israel." They talk about their family backgrounds and early childhood memories, their first stirrings of sexuality and responses to those feelings. They reveal their emotional struggles as well as their religious and political views. The book can be read as literature -- there are some fine story-tellers here -- or for pure human interest, as the narratives themselves are deeply moving. "Independence Park" includes an introduction providing an basic, up-to-date overview of contemporary Israeli culture and gay politics, as well as a glossary of possibly unfamiliar terms, making it accessible to all readers." Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.
THE FIRST GENERATION
Edited by Rabbis Rebecca T. Alpert, Sue Levi Elwell, and Shirley Idelson
August/September 2001. Rutgers. PAPERBACK EDITION.
There are about 580 women rabbis. Some of the best classes I have taken were taught by female rabbis who identify as lesbian (namely Rabbi S. Kleinbaum and Rabbi Benay Lappe). "Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation" documents a monumental change in Jewish life as eighteen lesbian rabbis reflect on their experiences as trailblazers in Judaism's journey into an increasingly multicultural world. Please note that these are reflections by the first generation. The second generation may possibly be more open and have different experiences (until they look for jobs, of course) In frank and revealing essays, the contributors discuss their decisions to become rabbis and describe their experiences both at the seminaries (RRC and HUC will ordain lesbians as rabbis, JTS will not ordain an openly lesbian or gay students and in their rabbinical positions. They also reflect on the dilemma of whether to conceal or to reveal their sexual identities to their congregants and superiors, or to serve specifically gay and lesbian congregations. The contributors consider the tensions between lesbian identity and Jewish identity, and inquire whether there are particularly "lesbian" readings of traditional texts. These essays also ask how the language of Jewish tradition touches the lives of lesbians and how lesbianism challenges traditional notions of the Jewish family. The book was born in 1997 at a meeting of B'not Esh, a 21-year-old women's collective. Fifty rabbis were invited to contribute essays. Eighteen essays were selected, many reflect on the theme of alienation and self-denial. The editor, Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert is a rabbi and co-director of the women's studies program at Temple University. She is the author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach and Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition. Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell is a rabbi and director of the Pennsylvania Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. She is the editor of the Jewish Women's Studies Guide. Rabbi Shirley Idelson is a rabbi who serves as associate chaplain at Carleton College and associate for Jewish Life at Macalester College. One contributor remains anonymous, and she discusses hiding her orientation while counseling her congregants who are gay and lesbian. The experiences of Rabbi Julie Spitzer, who died of ovarian cancer in 1999, are discussed. She practiced extreme discretion and was paranoid of people learning of her sexuality. Rabbi Benay Lappe discusses coming out after graduation and her despair at finding a Conservative pulpit. Rabbi Linda Holtzman discusses how she kept quiet for 6 years, commuting 40 miles each way to her social life in Philadelphia. She left her pulpit when her synagogue board would not give her co-parenting leave when her "roommate" gave birth. Rabbi Karen Bender discusses her painful search for a pulpit after graduation. Most congregation wouldn't return her calls after learning that she was lesbian. When she joined a Long Island synagogue, a dozen congregants moved to another synagogue. Watch your local Jewish newspaper listings for readings of this book (Sept 5 @7PM in NYC at 172 Allen Street/Bluestockings, Nov 26, 2001 in NYC at CBST)
By David Rakoff.
May 2001, Doubleday. Collections of stories by David Rakoff, who many know from his appearances on Public Radio's This American Life with Ira Glass, or his role as moderator at NYC's JCC of the Upper West Side panel on Gay Jewish Writing. A New York City-based gay Jew who is actually a Canadian (talk about FRAUD!) with a degree in Japanese studies, his stories range from the time he attended a survival school (Outside Magazine piece) in which he learns to skin roadkill and to never drive down the highway and look at roadkill the same way again; to climbing Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire on a cold Christmas (what city Jews do things like this?); to attending a Buddhist retreat led by Steven Seagal, the ACTOR; or playing Jewy McHebrew on "Lather, Rinse, Repeat"; or the time he sat in a Barney's clothing store's Christmas window as a Christmas Sigmund Freud (people tell him their wishes, and he tells them why their desires are unhealthy for them, or wished for in error). Poignant.
THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY by Michael Chabon
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2001
Another great book from the fingers of Michael Chabon, a favorite Jewish novelist (Wonder Boys, A Model World, Mysteries of Pittsburgh, the Nathan stories). Very slightly based on lives of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. Chabon read about their creation of the Superman series after reading a profile of them in Smithsonian Magazine while waiting for a dental appointment. Sam Klayman has a new roommate. His cousin, Josef Kavalier, has been smuggled out of Nazi occupied Prague in the same crate that contains The Golem. These boys create a cartoon character, The Escapist. The Escapist fights for good. Now if only the comic book industry would give these two cousins a fair shake. Why is it on this page?? You'll have to read the novel to find out. Click the book cover above to read more extensive reviews.
FOUND TRIBE. Jewish Coming Out Stories
by Lawrence Schimel (Editor)
August 2002. Sherman Asher. Schimel compiles essays by members of a dual minority in America -- gay Jews, including essays by 3 converts to Judaism; a gay Orthodox rabbi's struggles with halacha and desire; a man's coming top terms about not providing his mother with grandkids. Contributing authors include: David Bergman, Gabriel Blau, David ian Cavill, Edward M. Cohen, Rabbi Steve Greenberg, Daniel M. Jaffe, Arnie, Kantrowitz, Gabriel Lampert, andrew, marin, Jesse G. Montegudo, Jullian Padilla, Lev Raphael, Andrew Ramer, Philip Ritari, David Rosen, Lawrence Schimel, Jonathan Wald
by David Shneer (Editor), Caryn Aviv (Editor)
September 2002. In their first collaboration, editors David Shneer and Caryn Aviv, have compiled a pioneering anthology of probing, insightful, humorous and soul-searching works by an impressive list of contributors including Christie Balka, Avi Rose, Joan Nestle, Leslea Newman, Jyl Lynn Felman, Steven Greenberg, Jane Litman and Sandi Dubowski. Liberal Judaism is at the forefront of advancing queer empowerment and visibility. The contributors explore the conflict between the desire to integrate into established Jewish communities and the comforts of creating separate spaces for queer Jews. They offer first-person, queer-Jewish perspectives on identity, institutions and culture, including the emergence of gay and lesbian synagogues, gay weddings, the struggle between being observant and being queer, adopting children and creating Jewish families, and homophobia and anti-Semitism. Each author brings forth a unique style to this collection. The essays are at times hilarious, at times touching, and always passionate about the issues at hand: Jill Nagle's essay takes readers through the experience of a Queer Naked Seder held at the Radical Faerie House, a three-story house complete with a dungeon in the lower level. Jill was cast as Miriam and "led the naked Jews out of the dungeon with my tambourine, up onto the deck, and through the parted waters of the giant hot tub." TJ Michels and Ali Cannon interview one another about their pilgrimages to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, a site where males and females pray separately, which poses some problems for a transgendering man and a transgendered butch. How and for what they pass is both exhilarating and painful-and completely surprising. For example, TJ, a woman who many would mistake for a man, is stopped when she approaches the women's side of The Wall, since she is thought to be a man. Jyl Lynn Felman gives us her wildly entertaining review of two of the most important plays of the last decade-Angels in America and The Producers. Quite clearly, Felman suggests, Tony Kushner and Mel Brooks, one gay, one not, both Jewish, give us the newest cultural icon of the twenty-first decade: the Queer (male) Jew-he's the goyishe-gay whom's paranoid, culturally lost, and can sing a mean show tune! Oy Gay! An anonymous rabbinical student writes about his fear and shame of being discovered and outed at his seminary, and he includes stories of his sexual liaisons in bars prior to matriculation. There is also a peculiar S&M story of a Queer Seder, where naked participants play Israelites and Egyptians and act out humiliation and slavery in graphic terms. Combining memoir, analysis and stories from the front lines, QUEER JEWS introduces a new generation of post-Stonewall writers, who together with well-known voices, present a dynamic portrait of change, progress and the road ahead. David Shneer is Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of Denver and former Director of Education at Congregation Sha'ar Zahav in San Francisco. Caryn Aviv is a sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who currently directs the Program for Collaborative Care at UCSF Breast Care Center
Edited by Lawrence Schimel
Sherman Asher Publishing (New Mexico), 2000. Nominated for a LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD. Explicit erotic short fiction on the intersection (and parallels) of gay and Jewish culture and identities. Long Island raised Schimel, who resides for the time being in Madrid Spain, writes that the book's essence is the desire Jewish men have for other men. Many of the stories are set in sexually segregated yeshivas. An excerpt from Rick Sanford's "The Boys Across The Street" is included. The boys to whom he refers study at a Brooklyn yeshiva across from Sanford's apartment. The book includes a piece by Jonathan Wald, in which, at age 21, while summering on Fire Island, he falls for a muscled, German Aryan-like man that he nicknames, "the Nazi." But what about the German's Jewish roommate? Is Wald a victim of the Stockholm syndrome? Andrew Ramer contributes his story, "From His Own Hands." It is about Yonaton, a stonecutter from Safed. He is attracted to his young apprentice Aharon, but is afraid to act upon his desires. Instead he builds a blond Golem, named Adam. The Golem falls in love with Aharon, and Yonaton decides to create a safe and loving home for the new couple, Adam and Aharon. In "The Minyan," the author relates his thoughts and reactions to participating in his first sex party with a group of men from his congregation. He writes, "A Minyan of desire, men who no longer needed to congregate in clandestine secret to worship, but who could love and pray without shame." Modern day neo-Converso's I guess? In "My People," Lassell, the author compares and contrasts losses suffered due to the Holocaust and AIDS. Michael and David meet for the first time and end up sharing their thoughts and experiences while touring the Holocaust Museum. Through their interaction they discover the need to live and love in the present. David May's "Mein Yidishe Tate," explores the connection between 2 people, and their secret language, Yiddish, a language of desire and S&M. In "The Good Son," Brian Stein writes what it is like to be in a "mixed" relationship. Patrick meets Noah's family for the first time when returning home for his father's funeral. Daniel Jaffe writes an essay about an adolescent religious Jewish boy ashamed of his gay feelings.
Sex and Shopping : The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl
by Judith Krantz
Hardcover - 352 pages (May 2000) St Martins Press. Kratz was about to start her eleventh novel, when she realized she was making a mistake. On the verge of launching into the imagined world of a 28-year-old, she felt an intense need to tell another story, her own story. While she seemed like another "nice Jewish girl," underneath that convenient cover she'd traveled her own, inner-directed path and had many a spicy and secret adventure. She grew up in a complicated tangle of privilege, family problems, tormented teenaged sexuality, Wellesley, a year in Paris, and years in NYC. She has been married to her true love for nearly 50 years. She has as much amazing fun as her fictional heroines, and here's the book to prove it. Click to read more. Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.
Between Sodom and Eden : A Gay Journey Through Today's Changing Israel (Between Men--Between Women) by Lee Walzer
Hardcover - 368 pages (April 2000) Columbia University Press. In the late 1990's, Lee Walzer, a gay jew, traveled to Israel to explore the Bible and progressive civil rights. He explored Israeli personal and state identity today, and the changes in the idea of individualism and collectivism. The reader gets a glimpse of gay and lesbian life in Israel through Walzer's interviews with students, teachers, couples, politicians, etc., from the cities to the farms, where he finds more heterosexism than homophobia. He traces the political, religious, and social factors that make Israel a gay rights trendsetter, examining the interplay between Judaism and homosexuality, the growing prominence of gay themes in Israeli literature, film, music, and television, and the role of the media in advancing lesbian and gay political progress Click to read more reviews of this book. Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.
Fibroids : The Complete Guide to Taking Charge of Your Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Well-Being by Johanna Skilling
Paperback - 272 pages (February 2000). Yes, I know you were expecting a novel, but my two February selections are non-fiction and serious. When Johanna Skilling, a member of the same synagogue I attend, was diagnosed with fibroid tumors, she was confused by treatment recommendations that ranged from "watch and wait" to total hysterectomy. She was even more frustrated by the lack of data about fibroids, so she set out to close the information gap. Skilling offers practical information and reassurance, she explores the medical, emotional, and sexual implications of a fibroid diagnosis simply and thoroughly; explains what fibroids are, what influences their growth, what to expect after a diagnosis, and how to live with fibroids if surgery isn't chosen; and discusses traditional and alternative treatments and the mind-body connection. Click for more information. Click here to BUY this book for a discount
Queer 13 : Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade by Clifford Chase (Editor)
Paperback - (September 1999) 288 pages. A collection of 25 autobiographical essays about gays and lesbians at age 13. So what makes this a Jewish buch? Well, what is age 13? The age of bar and bat mitzvah's, the age of wo/manhood, seventh grade, hair growth, Keds, adolescence, zits, humiliation, name-calling, teen-star posters, summer camp bunkmates, Playboy magazines, and peer scrutiny. An age when you make your way to Junior High, gain friends, lose friends, outgrow friends, and are outgrown by others... a time when some focus on band practice and other on athletics, and others . At least six of the writers discuss their Jewish adolescence. They include Robert Gluck's "Three from Thirteen", in which he mentions the irony of his Bar Mitzvah parsha being the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In Gabrielle Glancy's "Train", she discusses how she managed the school officer campaign of her German/Swiss, swastika loving classmate, even though she was obsessed with fellow tribesman, David Gittelman, as well as Diane McCann. In David Bergman's "A Close Escape," David recounts a sickly miserable life in Queens NY which was enriched by an enchanting performance of the puppet show, Sleeping Beauty, and his desire for association with one boy and lust for another. David's Bar Mitzvah was a grim, small, estranged affair which marked his escape from shul and elementary school. In Wayne Koestenbaum's "Fashions of 1971", Wayne writes about his boy scout uniform, bell bottoms, LOVE shirt, fringe, P.E. class jocks and coaches, tube socks, and Becky's slip. In Lisa Cohen's "Still Life with Boys" we find a make out scene with the Bar Mitzvah boy. And in Michael Lowenthal's (SAME EMBRACE) "Lost in Translation", he recounts Spanish class, the derision of classmates, a Bar Mitzvah sleepover party, and his desire for a classmate. Click the icon to read more about the book and its contributors. Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.
My Strange and Surprising Adventures in Modern Babyland
by Sam Apple
Part memoir, part journalism, part history, part downright strange and hilarious, American Parent takes readers on a unique tour of the world of new mothers and fathers. As Sam Apple embarks on his own journey into parenthood, he decides to put his background in journalism to good use by talking to a wide range of experts. Along the way, Apple visits with the mohel who circumcised him, enters a trance with a childbirth hypnotist, goes on a stakeout with a nanny spy, and attends a lecture on Botox for new mothers. Apple is full of questions, and none is left unexplored: Is the Lamaze method a Stalinist plot? (Yes.) Are newborns really fetuses that are born too soon? (Sort of.) Is there a universal theory that can explain the origins of circumcision in many diverse cultures? (Maybe.) Does it sting when you pour baby shampoo into your own eyes? (Big-time!)
And yet for all the unusual twists in this story-at one point Apple fantasizes about a father losing his mind and refusing to remove his BabyBjörn-the strangest twist of all might be that at its core American Parent is a deeply serious and personal book about the way emotionally vulnerable and confused new parents can get lost in the increasingly complex labyrinth of baby products, classes, and fads.
Parenthood is the oldest subject of all. In American Parent, Sam Apple makes it feel entirely new.
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Heavenly Sex: Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition by Ruth K. Westheimer, Jonathan Mark
List Price: $15 before discount. Paperback (June 1996) Continuum Pub Group. Rabbi Boteach step aside. I had the good fortune of studying bible for an evening with Dr. Westheimer at HUC-JIR. If the book is as good as the class, then this book will be a treat. You will never again look at the "A Woman is Worth More than Rubies"(eshes Chayal) again. Dr. Ruth and Jonathan Mark offer a clearer understanding of the intertwining relationships between sexuality, spirituality, and sexual roles through a look at the Shir ha Shireem, Ruth, Proverbs, Psalms, and the Prophets. Click here to BUY this book for 20% OFF its list price
Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion by Rabbi Shmuel Boteach
30% off list price, plus no tax. Doubleday/Random House, March 1999. By the author of "A Jewish Guide to Adultery" and "Moses @ Oxford." At a time when the institution of marriage is under threat and three in five marriages fail, this book sets out to break down sexual taboos and argues that we must discuss the mechanics of our relations if we are to restore sex to its most important purpose of uniting people and bringing them together in long-term relationships. As Boteach stated during his book tout in NYC, "Sex for pleasure is an end in
itself. But kosher sex is a journey whose destination is a couple who feel joined not only by the same roof or children,
but especially through the enjoyment and pleasure they constantly give each other." Boteach writes that couiples shoud feed off each other's minds rather than bodies during the menstrual period, wiring "...they talk instead of caress, share secrets instead of kiss, and discuss each other's workday. Focusing on the broader aspects of their life outside of the bedroom, they can discuss the children, their plans for a family holiday, their business relationships, and their relationship with their respective parents.... Couples who truly wish to become lovers but also best friends must develop these two antithetical dimensions of their marriage. Anything else is a recipe for regularity that snuffs out the excitement of marriage. People are living, animate creatures. If we were only cerebral, our lives would be fairly predictable; we are emotional beings, however, and therefore hate routine, which ultimately bores us. Too many couples try to make their marriages proceed along a straight line." Kosher sex leads to intimacy, an intense passion born of romance. Click to read more. Click here to BUY this book for 20% OFF its list price from Amazon com in the USA in 1999
The Same Embrace by Michael Lowenthal
Hardcover - 304 pages Penguin. A novel about the Rosenbaum twins. Jacob and Jonathan are identical twins, tied together by family, by shared history, by identical genes. In this novel, they battle themselves and one another to become individuals. Jacob comes out and Jonathan becomes Orthodox. In the words of the NYT, "The Same Embrace is an eloquent exploration of the nature of faith, the consequences of judgment and the stubborn endurance of family ties." Some critics have taken issue with the focus on Jacob, but overall it is a very good book, and on a higher level, can it actually be a story of the part of God which has been separated and which the Kabbalists wish to rejoin in the future? An exccellent book for a reading group, since it brings up so many issues. Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.
The Oy of Sex : Jewish Women Write Erotica by Marcy Sheiner (Editor)
From Erotique Noire to On a Bed of Rice and Pleasure in the Word, ethnically themed collections are becoming more and more popular among readers of erotica. The Oy of Sex represents the first anthology of Jewish women's erotica by mainstream authors including Joan Nestle (author of A Fragile Union); Robin Bernstein (editor of Bridges, a journal of Jewish feminist culture and politics); and Judith Arcana (author of Grace Paley's Life Stories, A Literary Biography). The stories in The Oy of Sex are laden with Jewish symbols, holy days, customs, and cultural references -- along with zaftig women, tempting food, and a hefty dose of Yiddish humor.
Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality (Brown Judaic Studies, No 303)
$44.95. December 1995. Professor Michael Satlow's (Virginia) study of rabbinic writings on sexuality. My, my, aren't some rabbinic writings quite odd at first glance? An intriguing and fascinating study of rabbinic writings on sexuality. Click here to order this book
The Supermarket Sorceress's Sexy Hexes by Lexa Rosean
Lexa Rosean got kicked out of Stern College (Yeshiva University's Women's College) and opened up her own store, and is an author of at least three books. Lexa Rosean is Jew-witch, or a good Jewish witch, who knows that spells and hexes can be easy as a nice brisket. No, but really, this book is filled with witchcraft that you can perform in your own kitchen. Click the icon to read more about the book. Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.
Eros and the Jews : From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America by David Biale
Paperback - 334 pages (November 1997) Contemporary stereotypes about Jewish sexuality pervade modern culture, from Lenny Bruce's hip eroticism to Woody Allen's little man with the big libido. Does Judaism in fact liberate or repress sexual desire? David Biale traces Judaism's evolving position on sexuality, from the Bible and Talmud to Zionism up through American attitudes of today. Click here to order this book
Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition by Rebecca Alpert
Paperback - 224 pages (October 1998) Columbia Univ Pr. An extremely valuable and visionary source for Jewish lesbians who long to be recognized and to participate fully in mainstream synagogue life. . . . The author is to be congratulated for bravely taking on such an all-consuming topic and writing such an accessible, powerful and provocative book. Click here to order this book
God's Phallus: And Other Problems for Men and Monotheism by Howard Eilberg-Schwartz
$15. Paperback (December 1995) Beacon Pr. Eilberg-Schwartz, author of "The Savage in Judaism," speculates on the sociopsychological, theological, and literary implications for male monotheists of the Bible's apparently male God. Despite its provocative title, God's Phallus really is about veiling of male genitalia in the biblical imagery of God. Click here to order this book, or to read reviews
Unheroic Conduct : The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man by Daniel Boyarin
$19 before discount. Paperback - 424 pages (April 1997) U Cal Press. Is the ideal Jewish man passive and not aggressive? According to Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, who teaches in Near Eastern Studies and Women's Studies at The University of California at Berkeley, the ideal traditional Jewish man is a passive scholar, while women are active participants in the affairs of the world and business. Is the sissy Jewish male a product of antisemitism or something that was promoted by Jewish culture? How did Zionism and the image of the strong, pioneer Jewish man affect the traditional image of the Jewish male? Chapters in the book's first part include studies on Yeshiva and rabbininc homosociality, and a study of Jewish masochism. In the second part of the book, Boyarin presents studies of Freud, Herzl, and Boyarin's hero, Bertha Pappenheim (Anna O.) Click here to BUY this book for a discount its list price
The Escape Artist : A Novel by Judith Katz
Katz's novel about a Polish Jewish girl in an Argentinian brothel concerns Sofia, aged 13, who secretly lusts for her girlfriend but is virtually sold by her poor parents to flashy Tutsik Goldenberg, who promises he will marry her on the ship to the New World. But he has no such intention. Instead, his "aunt" instructs Sofia in the ways of the flesh, preparing her to cater to the lusts of Jewish immigrants fleeing pogroms and World War I. Tutsik's sister, Perle, is the madam who puts the finishing touches on Sofia's carnal education. Later, Tutsik spots the talented juggler and acrobat Hankus, and, anticipating success as the boy's manager, sees him as the means to get out from under his sister's thumb. But Hankus, who eventually meets Sofia, is really a young woman, and.. Click here to order this book
Beyond Viagra: A Common-Sense Guide to Building Healthy Sexual Relationships for Men and Women by Doctor Gerald A. Melchiode, with Bill Sloan
Paperback - 256 pages (March 1999). Doctor Melchiode is not only a psychiatrist specializing in male sexual disorders, but he was part of the the first trails of Viagra. He offers an important explanation of how the drug works, and more importantly why a drug should not be used as a magic bullet, when the primary reason for dysfunction is actually a lack of interpersonal communication. Click here to order this book, or to read reviews
The Breakup Book by Monica Sheehan
Paperback (February 1999) Warner Books. This little guide for women who are trying to survive the first month after a breakup advocates some behaviors that may get you in trouble. But hey, if you know you're not going to be able to stop yourself from driving by your ex's house or calling his answering machine just to hear his voice, you may as well get them over with and get to the serious stuff.
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How to Heal the Hurt by Hating by Anita Liberty
Paperback - 147 pages This book is absolutely priceless! In a time when people are finding it difficult to find, be in, or end relationships, Anita Liberty's humor is just the right medicine. She takes you on the rollercoaster of emotions that are experienced when you are "dumped." She says things that (almost) all of us have thought. And she adds a lot of humour. Everyone should pick up this book. It makes you realize you're not alone, and it really makes you laugh!
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