Tag Archives: The Map of True Places

33 – 29: My Big, Gay Blog Post

So if you haven’t heard, New York passed a same sex marriage law on Friday, which will allow all my gay and lesbian friends and relatives the legal right to get married and live happily ever after here in New York. Well, get married anyhow. Whatever.

On someone’s blog (or twitter feed or something) that I read this weekend, they asked if anyone could think of novels with long term gay couples in them that weren’t specifically “gay” books (i.e. written specifically with a GLBT audience in mind). The first book that came to mind for me is the Brunonia Barry book that I just read last week, The Map of True Places. And then Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe (Fanny Flagg). And then I couldn’t think of any. So I Googled a little and Left Hand of Darkness  (LeGuin) and Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein) came up. And then some books that I’d never heard of and then a lot of specifically GLBT stuff. And then I remembered that I had included a lesbian couple in my first manuscript (still unpublished). So, writers, agents, editors, can you get on that, please? Statistics say that anywhere between 2 and 10% of the human population is homosexual. It just would make more sense if there were more gay characters.

I’m delighted to be a New Yorker right now. I hope there are lots and lots and lots of gay weddings here soon! And I’m proud to report that the first wedding to which my children were invited had two gorgeous brides under the wedding canopy (Hey girls! Thanks for reading!).

So what books have you read that include a gay couple?

 

 

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I Couldn’t Keep it Up

I read Brunonia Barry’s The Map of True Places this past weekend. Oh my. What a delight. Barry is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Lace Reader, which I now must read. As I was reading, I tried to notice exactly what the author was doing, how she had written, what elements were in place, that were making the book so engaging. But I couldn’t sustain the noticing. I kept getting dragged back into the story, swept away by the images, gripped by the seamless dialogue. So I’d stop actively noticing what was working and by the time I remembered to start noticing again I’d find I’d read another 20 or 30 pages.

So that’s it, really. I think that’s ultimately the key to writing a great novel. Write it so your readers forget they’re reading. So that they forget the dialogue you’ve written is written dialogue. So that they forget your well-worded descriptions of images are words strung together to evoke an image. Can you do that? Can I? Brunonia Barry can.

What book has dragged you in, swept you away or gripped you so effectively that you forgot you were reading?

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