How Alan Hollinghurst Helped Make ‘Gay Literature’ Mainstream

How Alan Hollinghurst Helped Make ‘Gay Literature’ Mainstream The unquestioned greatest bard of gay life has for decades been writing some of the finest fiction of our time, good enough in fact to make us forget labels

‘Orbán’ Review: Hungary’s Strongman ORBÁN By Paul Lendvai Oxford, 273 pages, $29.95 In the summer of 1989, a bearded, shaggy-haired Viktor Orbán addressed a protest in Budapest’s Heroes’ Square. In a speech lasting less than seven minutes, the 26-year-old law student called for an end to the communist dictatorship, the holding of free elections and the withdrawal of Soviet...

The Norwegian TV series that’s enraged the Kremlin Okkupert (“Occupied”), the most expensive Norwegian television show in history, never mentions the word “quisling.” And yet its premise — a Russian occupation of Norway — evokes Vidkun Quisling’s Nazi collaborationist government and is permeated with the still unshakable trauma of that era. Read the rest of this review at Politico Europe.

Playing it Straight CLOSET QUEENS By Michael Bloch Little, Brown, e-book, $21.99 Several years ago, I found myself at a dinner party hosted by Cambridge University’s Adonian Society. The all-male Adonians, as their name impishly suggests, are a select group of undergraduates and their faculty admirers, along with hangers-on from the British elite. The setting was a cavernous...

Why Did Gore Vidal and William Buckley Hate Each Other?

Why Did Gore Vidal and William Buckley Hate Each Other? The word “pundit” has its origins in an ancient Sanskrit term meaning “knowledge owner.” Today used to describe the denizens of cable news, who shout over one another no matter what the topic, it denotes not so much studiously acquired expertise than know-it-all smarminess. Think Bill O’Reilly on the right or Keith Olbermann on the left: loudmouth“wingnuts”...

The Putin Show

The Putin Show Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia By Peter Pomerantsev PublicAffairs, 254 pages As a television producer living in Moscow during the early years of the 21st century, Peter Pomerantsev witnessed many strange things. There was the visit to Chechnya to meet the world’s biggest boy (who, at...

Václav Havel: Disturber of the Peace

Václav Havel: Disturber of the Peace HAVEL: A LIFE By Michael Zantovsky (Grove Atlantic, 543 pages, $30) The life of Václav Havel had all the makings of a fairy tale. The son of a wealthy property owner dispossessed of his holdings by the Czechoslovak communist regime, Havel (1936-2011) was denied higher education on account of his bourgeois upbringing. Not to be discouraged,...

See the Met’s "Klinghoffer," Then Judge It

See the Met’s "Klinghoffer," Then Judge It I don’t understand what all the meshugas is about. “Who could have imagined/Such a business/Such a meshugas?” cries Marilyn Klinghoffer, a passenger on the doomed Achille Lauro cruise ship coasting through the Mediterranean. Little does she know at the time that her husband, a 69-year-old wheelchair-bound New York Jew named Leon Klinghoffer, has just been shot by a Palestinian...