Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

In which The Gay Recluse ponders Junot Diaz and the purpose of novels. Today we finished The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. For obv reasons — namely, the book won every award last year — our expectations were high, and but for the most part were met. In case we’re only the second-to-last […]


In which The Gay Recluse looks out windows. Eventually we reached an age when we could no longer think about the larger world except with terror; it was too complicated and cruel, and every time we tried to engage it we returned defeated and misunderstood. Our own trajectory, combined with an examination of world history […]


On Netherland

18Jan09

In which The Gay Recluse recommends a book about loss. In Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, we meet a narrator “Hans” — a Dutch expat originally from The Hague — who both at the beginning and the end of the story (this is not a spoiler, because we learn this in the first few pages) appears to”have […]


In which The Gay Recluse recommends a book about music. When we finished The Rest Is Noise, Alex Ross’ survey of twentieth-century (classical-ish) music, our feelings were mixed; not about the book, which — as we are hardly the first to point out (Google it!) — works brilliantly on many levels. It’s really beyond our […]


In which The Gay Recluse files a book report. After we read Keith Banner’s The Smallest People Alive, we could not have imagined a more fucked-up society/culture than the low-class Midwest (US) described so effectively by Banner; imagine our surprise then, when we turned to another set of short stories — The Scent of Cinnamon […]


In which The Gay Recluse files a book report. The Smallest People Alive is a collection of short stories by Keith Banner, published in 2003 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Set in the cultural wasteland of the Midwest, the characters live in rental apartments, housing projects and trailer parks; they work at mental institutions, amusement […]


In which The Gay Recluse writes a book report. Just as the snow began, we finished Among Other Things, I’ve Taken Up Smoking, a 2007 debut novel by Aoibheann Sweeney. The book is about a girl — Miranda — who grows up with her father on a tiny island off the coast of Maine; her […]