Friday, June 01, 2007

Sarah Schulman's The Child

I'm not one to tell anyone what they "owe" anyone else, but Sarah Schulman is a lesbian that gay men owe a lot. She was early in activism for people with HIV/AIDS, at a time when even saying you cared about the issue made you an object of hostility, though she is a member of the least likely group to get it. She is still a big voice for us, and many other Others. She is also really, really smart and a great writer.

K-rock gave me the "uncorrected proof" of Schulman's latest novel, The Child, and I loved it. At the center of the story is the relationship between a grown man and a fifteen year old boy, and the legal woes that erupt from it, surrounded by a lesbian lawyer's relationship, family strife, and cancer scare. The date for publication is June, so you can now find it online and elsewhere. Again, though she is a lesbian, she really nails that "thing", for me at least, about what it feels like to be a gay man across the years, from the moment of realizing it. I can only imagine that she also nails the lesbian thing. Her stories are full of characters that are believable in their successes and failures.

Don't read any reviews online, just read the book first. All the reviews and "blurbs" that I read, after reading the book, either get the story wrong or the "moral" wrong, but they all ruin it by giving away too much information about the plot. I'm glad I had not seen any of those before I finished. It's best just to read it with no knowledge about what's going to happen, so you can see how your views on the characters and their circumstances changes through the pages.

"It is Schulman's ability to look pain in the eye and convert it to wisdom that the reader admires." --San Francisco Chronicle


Aphra said...

I love Sarah Schulman and really look forward to the new one.

S.D. Hollaback said...

I want to read this book.