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Susan Stinson

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05:55 pm: Edward Albee
I've been thinking about Edward Albee. We never spoke, but he got a Pioneer Award from Lambda Literary in 2011, the year I got an Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Award. His speech caused a stir because he said that he wasn't a gay writer, but a writer who happened to be gay. (Terrence McNally, the playwright who introduced him, said that he picked him up at a party way back in the day.) I was so full of joy that day, and he was surely part of that for me, since he made me part of his lineage by showing up for that honor, no matter what he said about it. I mean, I already was: I read Zoo Story in high school. I'd seen Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I want to read or see the rest of his work, sooner or later. I got a stubborn, affectionate family feeling from him from the stage. May he rest in peace.

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From:randomdreams
Date:September 18th, 2016 01:18 am (UTC)
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Huh. I do appreciate the distinction he makes, that is all too often lost by typecasting critics.
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From:susanstinson
Date:September 19th, 2016 07:57 pm (UTC)
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He said it in the context of a gathering designed to honor lgbt writers and writing, so he must have known it was provocative. (And, yes, there has been a lot of debate and changes within the group about what those terms might mean.) Yay for nuance and mess that transcends categories, but sometimes it's important for people to gather together under imperfect rubrics in order to do things like assert our place in the world of writing worth reading. Says me.
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