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Meet the must-reads.

*SEPTEMBER*

Alice Walker: A Life Evelyn C. White (W.W. Norton, $29.95) The indomitable writer, poet, and activist shines in this new bio. Along with a fresh look at Walker's oeuvre and candid shots of her with daughter Rebecca and Oprah on the film set of The Color Purple, note the (brief) mention of Walker's relationship with singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman.

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Home and Abroad Hanns Ebensten (Professional, $27) The legendary roamer and raconteur, who was leading gay travel expeditions 30 years ago, spins tales of his boyhood explorations (sexual and otherwise) in South Africa; a visit to the inn in Jerusalem where Jesus may have conducted the Last Supper; a sunset cruise with a male stripper in Key West, Fla.; an adventurous New York City evening at the all-male Explorers Club; and much more, all in a narrative voice like a perfect dry martini.

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How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization Cathy Crimmins (Jeremy P. Tarcher, $19.95) Humorist Cathy Crimmins explores the pervasive--and growing--influence of gay style and manners on American culture. Lose the hat, pilgrim.

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You Ain't Got No Easter Clothes: A Memoir Laura Love (Hyperion, $23.95) Whip-smart, witty, and musically unclassifiable, Love has long been a darling of indie music fans. Her latest feat: releasing this memoir along with a CD of the same name. Crack the book and feel your respect grow: Raised in Nebraska, shuttled between foster homes, orphanages, and a mentally unstable mother who just disappeared one day--Love conquers all.

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*OCTOBER*

Arts and Letters Edmund White (Cleis, $24.95) How often can you find Elton John and George Eliot in the same book? Thirty-five of White's best profiles and essays are collected here: writings on Robert Mapplethorpe, Jasper Johns, Yves Saint Laurent, Vladimir Nabokov, James Merrill, Grace Paley, and others.

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Blue Days, Black Nights Ran Nyswaner (Alyson, $23.95) Set mostly in Los Angeles, this is a drug- and sex-soaked memoir of Nyswaner's love affair with a Latin-quoting, leather-clad hustler named Johann. Nyswaner is the acclaimed Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Philadelphia and Soldier's Girl.

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The Line of Beauty Alan Hollinghurst (Bloomsbury, $24.95) London, 1983: When young Nick Guest moves in with the family of a Conservative member of parliament, prepare for the collision of sexuality, greed, class hatred, and rapier wit in the Thatcher era. British superstar Hollinghurst adds to the rep he built with novels like The Swim ming-Pool Library.

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That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation Edited by Matthew Bernstein Sycamore (Soft Skull, $15.95) The perfect antidote to the presidential campaign. Relish this anthology of "the new queer resistance," featuring mild-mannered essays along the lines of "Dr. Laura, Sit on My Face."

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*NOVEMBER*

Paul Bowles: A Life Virginia Spencer Carr (Scribner, $35) The author of 1949's The Sheltering Sky also composed music, wrote plays, held court in Morocco, adored young men, married a lesbian writer as compelling as he, and bedded or bonded with the artistic cream of his day: Tennessee Williams, Aaron Copland, Gertrude Stein, William S. Burroughs. The real dirt is here, thanks to thousands of personal interviews with Bowles and his friends.

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*DECEMBER*

Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger William J. Mann (Billboard) Already a wildfire hit in the United Kingdom, this authorized bio makes maximum use of the great gay director's letters and tapes. But here's the best dish: It seems Schlesinger blamed Madonna--who starred in his final film, The Next Best Thing--for the heart attacks that led to a stroke from which he never recovered. The U.S. edition of Midnight is set to appear at year's end--clearly the gay holiday gift.

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Midnight at the Palace: My Life as a Fabulous Cockette Pam Tent (Alyson, $17.95) Pam Tent was a founding member of the Cockettes, the legendary early-'70s performing troupe. Her memoir is a rollicking tale of bad taste and brazen costuming that is diminished only slightly by the bio note confessing that the author is now an accountant.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Books
Author:Stockwell, Anne
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 14, 2004
Words:675
Previous Article:Through a joke, darkly: Augusten Burroughs is the gay humorist of the season, as he has come back with an excruciating new collection.
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