John Weir

  • Brian D'Amato's Beauty

    IN BRIAN D’AMATO’S BEAUTY, it is difficult to determine whether the author’s constant citation of people and products is simple name-dropping or a way of getting at something distinctive about his characters. This is a novel-as-gossip-column, in which the pages are crowded with high-fashion models, movie stars, art world aficionados, renowned literary theorists, and Yale professors. The difference between D’Amato and, say, Michael Musto of The Village Voice is that the celebrities in D’Amato’s writing don’t appear in boldface type. But their names occur just as frequently. Perhaps this is meant

  • Discontents

    Here is an anthology dressed in the editorial equivalent of a black leather jacket. Its cover decorated Deadhead style with a black-and-white skull-and-crossbones printed behind the legend Discontents spelled out in red Gothic lettering, it looks like what would happen if the Hell’s Angels set themselves up in desktop publishing. But an unexpected subtitle warning New Queer Writers issues a battle cry both to wary straight readers and, presumably, to the merely gay- and/or lesbian-identified homosexual. More provocatively, the back cover promises “a maelstrom of more than 50 transgressive works.”