The Page Boy

By Lavender February 29, 2008

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Legacies of Love: A Heritage of Queer Bonding
Winston Wilde
The Haworth Press
$19.95

Legacies of Love is a fascinating and useful compendium of queer couples. More than the (inevitable) “Oh, look at that!,” Wilde has produced a versatile source book, with photos, dates, and individual brief bibliographies for each couple (or triad). More than 100 such units are presented: Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed; Cary Grant and Randolph Scott; James Baldwin and Lucien Happersberger; Aidi and Dong Xian. The book is broken down into “Patterns”—“Interethnic Love, Peer Love, Intergenerational Love,” etc.—which makes for ease of navigation. A great volume for reading, for browsing, or to have handy as a resource.

The Purrfect Murder
Rita Mae Brown Bantam
$25

Whenever you’re in “cozy” Crozet, Virginia, someone’s about to be killed. Sure enough, there goes Mrs. Carla Paulson, upper-climbing, overreaching—who, really, never would be missed. Unfortunately, she’s done in at the toniest gala fund-raiser of the year, and Harry Harrison’s best friend, Tazio Chappers, is found standing above her cooling corpse with a bloody knife. Harry, heroine—along with feline Mrs. Murphy and other 4-legged sleuths—of the 15 previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries, jumps in to save the day. We meet old friends, including Harry’s new husband, and watch the mayhem unfold in this most lethally crime-ridden village.


This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War
Drew Gilpin Faust
Alfred A. Knopf
$27.95

A remarkable new lens on the Civil War by Harvard’s first woman president, Republic takes a look at how this most intimate and devastating of military conflicts permanently altered American perception of war. Abruptly and irrevocably, thousands of American citizens were denied “the good death”—at home, among family and loved ones. In an instant, not only were the dead and dying abandoned on far-flung battlefields, but also many were disarticulated, blown to smithereens—never to be recovered. Ensuing religious, political, medical, and ethical questions resulted in sweeping changes in government responsibilities and accountability. This space cannot do Faust’s work justice. An important book.


The Unbearable Saki: The Work of H.H. Munro
Sandie Byrne
Oxford University Press
$39.95

Born Hector Hugh Monro in 1870, Saki’s gothic, aunt-ridden childhood was reflected in his mordant humor. (One fictional aunt had her throat torn out by a polecat-ferret.) Byrne examines Saki’s short stories and novels (The Unbearable Bassington; When William Came), exploring characters and themes. She points out that for all the effete young Berties, Reginalds, and Clovises, waning Edwardians who epigrammed their way through the stories, Monro harbored an overriding concern for England. He died in 1916 fighting on the Somme during World War I, exclaiming, just before being shot through the head, “Put that bloody cigarette out!” His work is still in print—lucky us.

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