Author Archives: Joseph Barbato

No House to Call My Own

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The pipeline into homelessness continues. On a whole, there is much more work to be done. The U.S. government spends more than $5 billion annually on homeless assistance programs, yet roughly 5 percent is allocated to serve homeless youth and children. There are steps the federal government can take to minimize the likelihood that LGBTQ youth leaving foster care will become homeless. Federal funding for essential services for LGBTQ youth remains frozen.

-Ryan Berg, No House to Call My Home: Love, Family, and Other Transgressions

The Hour of Land

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We believe in more, more possessions, more power, more war. Anywhere, everywhere our advance of aggression continues.

-Terry Tempest Williams, The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of  America’s National Parks

Divorce Is in the Air

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We went to the spa to save what was left of our damned marriage.

-Gonzalo Torne, Divorce Is in the Air: A Novel

The Regional Office Is Under Attack!

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If you were wealthy, but extremely so, and you were in the market for a lavish adventurous getaway, one that might require the retainer of Sherpas–in the event that you came across a mountain you wished to scale–as well as a hot-air balloon and balloon crew in case, well, that came up, too, the desire, if you will, to hot-air balloon over the glacial formations off the southern coast of Chile, then you would hardly do better than to contact the staff at the Morrison World Travel Concern.

-Manuel Gonzales, The Regional Office Is Under Attack!

Revulsion

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Glad you could come, Moya, I had my doubts that you would come, so many people in this city don’t like this place, so many people don’t like this place at all, Moya, which is why I wasn’t sure you’d come, said Vega.

-Horacio Catellanos Moya, Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador

The Gentleman

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My name is Lionel Savage, I am twenty-two years old, I am a poet, and I do not love my wife. I loved her once, not without cause–but I do not anymore. She is a vapid, timid, querulous creature, and I find after six months of married life that my position has become quite intolerable and I am resolved upon killing myself.

-Forrest Leo, The Gentleman: A Novel

Avid Reader

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I began as I would go on–reading. By the time I was four, my grandfather had shown me how to do it, mostly by having me follow along as he read to me.

-Robert Gottlieb, Avid Reader: A Life

The Complete Orsinia & Much More

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Says Ursula Le Guin (The Complete Orsinia): “There’s some innate arrogance here: I want to do it my way. I don’t want to be reduced to being ‘the sci-fi writer.’ People are always trying to push me off the literary scene, and to hell with it.”

Jerusalem is an astonishing collection of words and ideas that weaves a hypnotic spell.” Here’s Alan Moore.

“Outrage and terror about the nuclear threat peaked in 1982, when the largest political demonstration in U.S. history drew close to a million people to New York City. Then the Cold War ended, and with it, the public’s sense of urgency. These days, a ‘No Nukes’ bumper sticker is something like a Pet Rock.” Here’s a review of Dan Zak’s Almighty.

We live in an antibacterial culture (hand sanitizer, anyone?) that fears and vilifies germs, prioritizes human needs at the expense of all other life forms, and has developed an astonishing resistance to nuance. [Ed] Yong, along with the many scientists and researchers whose work he champions, demands that we put aside these myopic and dangerous ideas.” Here’s a review of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life.

“You’re constantly trying to get them to stop fucking making a cliché out of you.” Here’s Colm Tóibín (Norah Webster).

The Art of History

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Story is a wonderful way to organize experience. First one thing happens, then another and another. Events unfold in time and are connected by cause and effect, anticipation and suspense. Best of all, people are involved, individual men and women, which always makes the action more interesting.

-Christopher Bram, The Art of History: Unlocking the Past in Fiction & Nonfiction

They May Not Mean To, But They Do

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Molly Bergman moved to California, and it broke her mother’s heart. There are daughters who spend their lives trying to escape their mothers, who move to their particular California the minute they’re able to, who never stop moving to California. Molly was decidedly not one of those daughters. It was a painful move even before her parents got, so suddenly, so old.

-Cathleen Schine, They May Not Mean To, But They Do