I guess I got so wrapped up in Daniel Pinchbeck’s letter-column outrage that I just never made it to the back half of the NYTBR, where, as Gawker’s Intern Alexis discovered, the Review’s fascination with lesbians increases. At least they’re learning how to be more subtle about it, though. With Mary Cheney’s memoir, it’s pretty much a given that Times readers already know, as Alexandra Jacobs puts it, “yep, she’s gay,” so Jacobs just chides her for not being politically active enough about it. But when Katherine Lanpher reviews Catherine Friend’s Hit By a Farm, there’s just a few passing references to “her partner, Melissa.” Hmmm…it occurs to me as I type this that the Review editors aren’t just fascinated by lesbians, but specifically by lesbian memoirists, which probably comes as no surprise to all those critics who say the Times has given up on fiction. Well, there was that one lesbian novelist who got a full-page review, but I don’t think we’re supposed to talk about that, and anyway they didn’t love her book as much…maybe because it wasn’t all about being a lesbian.
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