The Nightstand

Taking Loads, Plugging Stuff

The Nightstand is not a gay column. It's a books column written by someone who happens to be really, really gay, which explains why it's frequently full of chewy, bright pink chunks of flaming faggotry. For pride week, Seattle Weekly's editors—all of them flag-waving advocates of ass-less chaps and booby pasties—have instructed us all to shove an extra load of creamy gaiety down your throat. So, open up. . . . Ron Suresha, the 43-year-old editor of Bearotica: Hot, Hairy, Heavy Fiction, has been taking loads since he was a "cub." (A "cub" is a young "bear"; a "bear" is a furry, fat, all grown-up gay.) Bears on Bears, Suresha's new book, is an examination of what many are calling "the bear movement." (The Nightstand suddenly regrets using the phrase "the bear movement," because it brings to mind the image of a grizzly taking a shit.) The Nightstand called Suresha last week to ask him questions like, "Who's sexier? Smokey the Bear, Yogi Bear, or Yogi Berra?" Suresha's answers will appear in these pages next week to plug a reading of Bears on Bears at Bailey/Coy Books July 9. . . . Speaking of shameless plugs, check out the puff piece on page 35 about the 20th anniversary of Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story. In spite of characterizing the book as a great coming-out blah-de-blah, the first gay book the Nightstand ever read was Andrew Tobias' The Best Little Boy in the World. Feeling guilty about promoting White's book over Tobias', and to justify working Tobias into this week's prideful column, the Nightstand called Tobias up and asked him, in his opinion, the best gay books ever written. Top three: Rubyfruit Jungle, A Separate Peace, and The Front Runner. Interesting choices. . . . But not as interesting as Allan Stein author Matthew Stadler's picks. Stadler, who used to live in Seattle and write really smart essays for The Stranger, said on the phone last week from Oregon that his gay

favorites are Steve Weiner's The Museum of Love and James Purdy's In a Shallow Grave and Eustace Chisholm and the Works. Among other projects (editing Nest magazine, writing a book, raising a kid), Stadler is launching a new publishing company with Richard Jensen called Clear Cut Press. Steve Weiner is among the many contributors to the press' first book, The Clear Cut Future, due in September. Stadler's nearly completed novel (he's aiming for December) will be published elsewhere. "I want Clear Cut to exist independent of my work as a writer," Stadler says. "I think if I wasn't the editor of Clear Cut I would publish with it, but I am the editor. And I think it's good to have an editor who's not you."

cfrizzelle@seattleweekly.com

 
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