Book Reviews of A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society

A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society
A Place at the Table The Gay Individual in American Society
Author: Bruce Bawer
ISBN-13: 9780671795337
ISBN-10: 0671795333
Publication Date: 11/1/1993
Pages: 272
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

3 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Book Type: Hardcover
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2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society on + 5959 more book reviews
I read this when it first came out, I was pretty irritated by his writing. He is a professional New York critic, and certainly his picture on the front cover of the book supports the stereotype; he finds imperfection in everything. Nothing that anyone does or says meets with his approval. He even writes about supportive friends who invited him to dinner and talks extensively about a passing slight, and he writes with enough detail of the people that I'm sure his friends knew they were being written about. I can't help but think that I would certainly not want to have him at my table.
reviewed A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society on
"Homosexuality is being talked about more today than at any other
time in human history; the issue of gay rights has reached a moment
of truth. Yet many people remain remarkably ill-informed about what
homosexuality really is. Why? Partly, says Bruce Bawer in this
powerful and provocative book, because of the irrational hatred,
fears, and lies of bigots who depict a monolithic "gay lifestyle"
that threatens "family values." Partly because of a vocal and highly
visible minority of gays who equate homosexuality with promiscuity
and political correctness; marching in drag or in leather jockstraps
on Gay Pride Day, they, too, seriously misrepresent gay life. And
partly because most gays, who lead mainstream, often closeted, lives,
have kept a low profile, thus leaving the public debate largely to
belligerent extremists." "This moving, eloquent work - both
meditation and manifesto - on the nature of homosexuality is Bawer's
attempt to set things right. He strips away the misconceptions that
underlie homophobia, critically scrutinizes the lockstep mentality of
the extreme gay subculture, and defines the complex moral predicament
of the gay individual. Most gays, he points out, are as mainstream as
most heterosexuals. They have serious careers and committed
relationships; many are religious. They run the gamut in politics,
cultural taste, social conventions, and erotic preoccupation and
experience. Sexual desire figures in their lives in much the same way
and to the same degree as in the lives of heterosexuals."
"Incisively, Bawer examines such phenomena as the annual Gay Pride
March, the coming-out process, and gay marriage, meticulously
separating fiction from fact, myth from reality, propaganda from
truth. He is keenly perceptive about the depiction of gay experience
in contemporary writing. He is particularly concerned about young
gays just coming to terms with their sexual orientation who must cope
with conflicting prejudices, stereotypes, and imperatives." "At the
Lincoln Memorial, on the eve of his inauguration as president, Bill
Clinton expressed his hope for a nation in which every American would
have "a place at the table." For Bruce Bawer, that vision will become
reality only when every gay man and woman becomes a full member of
the American family. His book is a passionate plea that we recognize,
and celebrate, our common backgrounds and common values - our common
humanity."--BOOK JACKET.