Tuesday, July 17, 2007

God Bless the Child


      I've been a big fan of Sarah Schulman's for a very long time. I love her frank assessments of the world as it really is, admire her no-nonsense attitude toward tackling issues of oppression and bigotry as experienced by many of us -- layered, complicated and often demoralizing -- and her ballsiness in calling out the culprits. Yet, her books (which can go deep and dark) never give off the whiff of defeat or fatalism, even when the endings are far from happy. My writer's-crush on her deepened a few years ago when I interviewed her (in a Q&A that will appear in Blood Beats Vol. 2) and asked her a question, to which she replied, "I don't know." Blew me the hell away. No one ever says I don't know anymore. No matter how far outside their field of expertise the query, no matter how transparent their ignorance as they bumble through an answer. Their fear and ego won't allow it. My respect for her quadrupled because I knew that what she did answer, I could trust. An old-school New York lefty Jewish lesbian intellectual, she's just dope...

Here's a recent interview I did with her for the LA Weekly to promote her latest book, The Child. (The image accompanying this blog entry is the book's cover.) Click here.

2 comments:

Libby said...

Sarah Schulman is not quite Susan Sontag, doesn't have that kind of international range or sophistication, but for an American critic she is fairly perceptive...It's sad that there aren't more critics who, like Sontag, go beyond the obvious, go beyond the topical, to write about whatever they think is important whether or not others are now paying attention...But what you say about Sarah Scultman's honesty reminds me a bit of the music writer Chuck Klosterman, who I saw last night in New York at Barnes & Noble. He was honest, charming, smart, not selling "cool" at all...When the truth matters more than the pose, that's what I like, as you suggest with Schulman.

Larry-bob said...

OMG! My favorite two queer intellectuals meet! Best Sarah Schulman interview since she raked Andrew Sullivan over the coals!