Wednesday, Aug 2 – Jeff Solomon, So Famous and So Gay

Wednesday, 2 PM on Bibliocracy Radio:  My guest this week Jeff Solomon has written a highly readable if academically precise, carefully argued and also fun revisionist twin biography of two iconic figures of American popular culture, taken apart their life stories and argued for both their actual respective artistic successes and defining, even audacious achievement of negotiating the anti-gay cultural and political prejudice of the previous century.  In So Famous and So Gay:  The Fabulous Potency of Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein, scholar Jeff Solomon has produced a terrific take-apart exploring how, exactly, Capote and Stein rewrote the rules, ignored the rules, broke the rules, and how this behavior both limited their appreciation as writers and yet made them larger than life cultural figures, pop stars — and what this distinction means.  One reviewer helps me to point out just how well-told this two-author story is offered in the context of appreciating Capote and Stein among so many cultural and political figures and moments, noting “Solomon’s magisterial command of twentieth century American literary culture.”   Jeff Solomon is assistant professor of English and women, gender, and sexuality studies at Wake Forest University and it’s my pleasure to welcome him to Bibliocracy.  Thanks for listening, on the radio, online, as a download from the KPFK Audio Archives or as a podast.