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John Rechy

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October 24, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
This post has been corrected. See the note below. I spent part of Wednesday afternoon at UCLA, on a panel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Rechy 's novel “City of Night,” newly reissued to commemorate the occasion. The book is a landmark not only of gay literature -- it tells the story of a street hustler as he moves through the shadow world of the 1950s -- but also of American literature. “City of Night” was not the first overtly gay-themed book (Radclyffe Hall's “The Well of Loneliness” appeared in 1928, and in 1956, Allen Ginsberg published his long poem “Howl,” followed, three years later, by William S. Burroughs with “Naked Lunch”)
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
This post has been corrected. See the note below. I spent part of Wednesday afternoon at UCLA, on a panel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Rechy 's novel “City of Night,” newly reissued to commemorate the occasion. The book is a landmark not only of gay literature -- it tells the story of a street hustler as he moves through the shadow world of the 1950s -- but also of American literature. “City of Night” was not the first overtly gay-themed book (Radclyffe Hall's “The Well of Loneliness” appeared in 1928, and in 1956, Allen Ginsberg published his long poem “Howl,” followed, three years later, by William S. Burroughs with “Naked Lunch”)
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
John Rechy should be proud. It was his 1963 novel "City of Night" - the story of a gay street hustler that took place, in part, in downtown's Pershing Square - that helped carve out a place for gay writing in American literature. And yet, when I heard this morning that the Supreme Court had overturned a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (as well as sending Proposition 8 back to a federal district court in California), I couldn't help remembering another piece of Rechy's writing, the nonfiction book “The Sexual Outlaw,” which includes a vivid account of a 1976 Hollywood gay pride parade.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
John Rechy should be proud. It was his 1963 novel "City of Night" - the story of a gay street hustler that took place, in part, in downtown's Pershing Square - that helped carve out a place for gay writing in American literature. And yet, when I heard this morning that the Supreme Court had overturned a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (as well as sending Proposition 8 back to a federal district court in California), I couldn't help remembering another piece of Rechy's writing, the nonfiction book “The Sexual Outlaw,” which includes a vivid account of a 1976 Hollywood gay pride parade.
BOOKS
November 18, 2001 | JONATHAN KIRSCH, Jonathan Kirsch is a contributing writer to the Book Review and, most recently, the author of "The Woman Who Laughed at God: The Untold History of the Jewish People" (Viking)
Some of John Rechy's admiring readers salute him as one of the inventors of the "gay novel." Others place him in the first rank of novelists whose work is set in Los Angeles--"the most spiritual and physical of cities," as Rechy puts it, "a profound city which drew to it the various bright and dark energies of the country."
NEWS
October 26, 1997 | PAMELA WARRICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
At first glance, John Rechy assumed the letter must be meant for someone else. "Here was a lovely letter announcing this extraordinary honor. Well, I had to turn the envelope over to make sure it really was addressed to me. And, oh my, yes, it was!" And now it is official.
BOOKS
March 2, 2008 | Nina Revoyr, Nina Revoyr's new novel, "The Age of Dreaming," will be published in April.
"OH, my God, look what just walked in! Hold me, girls, I'm going to fai-aiaiaiai-nt!" So is John Rechy greeted upon his arrival in Los Angeles, as he walks into a downtown gay bar. It is the mid-1950s, and the gushing welcome could mark the responses both of the bar patrons and the mainstream literary world.
BOOKS
August 29, 1999 | GARY INDIANA, Gary Indiana is the author of several books, including "Let It Bleed," "Gone Tomorrow," "Resentment" and, most recently, "Three Month Fever," the story of Andrew Cunanan
When John Rechy's first novel, "City of Night," appeared in 1963, there had never been anything quite like it. Told from the cool perspective of a restless male hustler, working in what used to be called "trade," the book was a carny tour of "the homosexual underworld" (as it was routinely called) of urban America, taking in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans.
BOOKS
August 18, 1996 | Sara E. Melzer, Sara E. Melzer is writing a book about cultural myths. She is a professor of French literature and communication studies at UCLA and also teaches women's studies
In the beginning of John Rechy's new novel, "Our Lady of Babylon," Eve tells her version of the Creation. "There was a flower that bloomed only in Eden, a flower so glorious it did not need the decoration of leaves. Its color is long gone from the world because it was exiled with me and my beloved. "When he saw me for the first time, as I lay within the verdure of Eden, my Adam plucked a blossom from the leafless stem. He knelt and with its petals grazed my body.
NEWS
September 7, 1988 | GREGG BARRIOS, Barrios is a Los Angeles writer
Today I find myself a Texas writer left out of discussion of Texas writers; a Chicano writer omitted from anthologies of Chicano writers; a California writer ignored in books about California. And even though excluded from several homosexual anthologies, I am still known as "the homosexual writer . . . " If I died tomorrow, I would know that I have written as formidable a body of work as that of any other writer of my generation.
BOOKS
March 2, 2008 | Nina Revoyr, Nina Revoyr's new novel, "The Age of Dreaming," will be published in April.
"OH, my God, look what just walked in! Hold me, girls, I'm going to fai-aiaiaiai-nt!" So is John Rechy greeted upon his arrival in Los Angeles, as he walks into a downtown gay bar. It is the mid-1950s, and the gushing welcome could mark the responses both of the bar patrons and the mainstream literary world.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2008
After decades of writing influential novels -- beginning with the 1963 male hustler tour de force "City of Night" -- each granting a candid voice to the misunderstood, John Rechy turns the focus inward with a memoir, "About My Life and the Kept Woman," and with it a return to his Mexican American upbringing in 1950s El Paso, charting his own interior awakening into the psychic demands of sexual difference, and of forging one's own path. 7:30 p.m. today. Skylight Books. (323) 660-1175; www.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2008 | Steffie Nelson, Special to The Times
The iconic L.A. writer John Rechy has just published a memoir, "About My Life and the Kept Woman," and he wants to make clear right away that he made stuff up. "I consider writers a hierarchy of liars," Rechy said on a recent afternoon, "and the autobiographer is the biggest liar of all."
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2007
KATHLEEN TURNER claims she's "never really seen an extraordinary piece of theater" in Los Angeles and hopes that L.A. audiences will finally be able to "see the quality of what theater can be" when she, incidentally, appears in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" at the Ahmanson Theatre ["No Fear in the Face of 'Woolf' " Feb. 4]. She isn't satisfied with the site of the production either, describing the celebrated theater as being "like an airplane hangar or something." Dear Ms. Turner, I and many others in Los Angeles know "what theater can be" from experiencing extraordinary manifestations of it year after year in our city (productions that have gone on to become long-running Broadway hits)
OPINION
July 24, 2005
The restrictive bias that attends "Los Angeles-Hollywood" authors persists so doggedly that the respectful obituary of Gavin Lambert (July 19) identified him almost exclusively as "one of Hollywood's finest chroniclers" of "Hollywood life ... Hollywood people." In fact, Lambert was one of the best prose stylists of his time, an astute observer of life, without regional boundaries, and a most civilized and sophisticated man of grand intelligence and talent. John Rechy Los Angeles
BOOKS
February 27, 2005 | Susan Salter Reynolds, Susan Salter Reynolds is a Times staff writer.
Dig: John Rechy is living proof that one of the best weapons for fighting hatred is pure love. "Beneath the Skin," organized by decade, is a collection of 46 articles written from 1958 to 2004. They range in topic from a description of Rechy's hometown, El Paso, to juvenile detention, the Vietnam War, Liberace, Gore Vidal, Sept. 11 and way, way beyond.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2008 | Steffie Nelson, Special to The Times
The iconic L.A. writer John Rechy has just published a memoir, "About My Life and the Kept Woman," and he wants to make clear right away that he made stuff up. "I consider writers a hierarchy of liars," Rechy said on a recent afternoon, "and the autobiographer is the biggest liar of all."
NEWS
September 15, 1996 | PAMELA WARRICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Above the velvet sofa, in a sunny corner of the Los Feliz garden apartment, Marilyn Monroe lounges life-size in black and white. Her plump lips are in a wet pout, her legs are swathed in black fishnet, her fleshy bosom spills out from behind a strategically placed man's hat. "Do you see how she beckons into the darkness? Do you see?" John Rechy, Marilyn admirer and misunderstood author, wants so very much for people to "see"--to understand the troubled siren's need to be understood. And his own.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 7, 2003 | Charles Casillo, Special to The Times
It's not that John Rechy resents the success that his groundbreaking novel "City of Night" brought him 40 years ago. It's just that he's done a lot of writing since then, and he regrets that his first book continues to outshine all his subsequent achievements. "I've written much better books," he says. "I often say that if I had died after 'City of Night' came out, there would have been a whole mythology: 'If he had only lived, what would he have produced?'
BOOKS
October 5, 2003 | Jonathan Kirsch, Jonathan Kirsch, a contributing writer to Book Review, is the author of the upcoming "God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism."
John Rechy, rather like Henry Miller, is best known for his depiction of raw and shocking sexuality and yet best loved by some readers for his expression of a passion so sublime that it approaches a state of rapture. He began in 1963 with "City of Night," a book about the sordid life of a gay street hustler, but he also gave us, for example, "The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez," the tale of a poor middle-aged Mexican American woman who is redeemed when she's granted a marvelous vision.
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