“Amends,” My Novel About Reality-TV Rehab, Is Available in Paperback

now! A month in rehab would be stressful enough without a television audience. When the ramshackle cast checks in for "Amends," a new reality series about alcoholism and recovery, they don't know if they've been cast as villains or potential redemption arcs. Over the course of the show they learn what God sees when he shuts his eyes, how to appreciate the comforts of hallucination, and what it looks like when a wolf fights a troll. A conservative journalist woos a homeless Ethiopian visionary. … [Read more...]

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“Our Stories”: I’m at Spiritual Friendship

& I need your help! When I was in high school I spent just hours upon hours trying to suss out gay subtext in novels, songs, poetry. I longed for that moment of recognition: the moment when you realize that someone else has put into words and images something you have felt but never understood. It was so frustrating when somebody would slur through a pronoun (is that, “Was a lover, and his last”?) or skitter away from a revealing turn of phrase. And it was so thrilling when somebody–usually … [Read more...]

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The Literature of Contempt: Some Rambling About DFW and Dostoyevsky

Over the holiday weekend I read through pretty much the entire Mockingbird archive of posts tagged "David Foster Wallace." Meanwhile I'm reading The Idiot for the third time (and finally retaining something other than the "worst thing you ever did" party game, I hope...) and slowly gnawing through Игрок (The Gambler) in Russian class. If you ever want to notice how super-contemptuous (презрительнейший! чрезвычайно презрительнейший!) both of these writers can get about everybody in the entire worl … [Read more...]

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“Gay and Catholic” Wins Catholic Press Association Award!

First place for Gender Issues (lol Best Uterus, but I'll take it!) and I am grateful not only for the award itself but for the fact that CPA singled out my publisher, Ave Maria Press, for praise. AMP took a real chance on my book and I'm very glad to see them recognized for it. Anyway, I found out about this over the weekend but it seems esp appropriate to post it on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, since St Paul is the patron of the Catholic press (poor guy). … [Read more...]

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Toller Cranston Skates for Mexico: A Fever Dream

One reason I loved the Mountain Goats' new album Beat the Champ so much is that it speaks about a kid projecting his own emotional turmoil onto the storytelling sport of pro wrestling, in a way which deeply resonated with my experience projecting my own emotional turmoil onto the storytelling sport of figure skating. If I made my own sports concept album it would be Toller Cranston Skates for Mexico, and it would be about, mostly, the Lillehammer Olympics, which allowed skaters who had left … [Read more...]

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My Summer Reading: Locas in Love (Plus Old-School Sci Fi and Just a Ton of Wellington)

at the University Bookman:Eve Tushnet I hope to spend this summer soaking up the sun with Los Bros. Hernandez’s epic comic book series “Love and Rockets.” The comics follow a group of knockabout, hard-living characters from punk LA (Jaime Hernandez’s “Hoppers 13” stories) and a slightly surreal South American village (Gilbert Hernandez’s “Palomar”). These are genre-crossing tales of love, loss, slowly encroaching adulthood, and sci-fi adventure; there are ghosts and witches, betrayal and cam … [Read more...]

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Benedict Option Conclusion: Places in the Heart

This is the final part of my series on Leah Libresco's discussion group on "The Benedict Option" aka living a more communal or "thicker" Christian life. Parts one, two, three, four.This is gonna be a pretty rambling conclusion loosely linked by the theme of "place." I've found it most helpful to view the discussion of "the Benedict Option" as a way of raising fruitful questions, not an attempt to provide a One Best Model. (It's about having more-Christian problems, not finding solutions--or … [Read more...]

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