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Letter to Councilman LaBonge
Real People as Fictional Characters
Female Actors, Part Two
One Culture Hero Award
Adelante Gay Pride Gala
Best Work of Fiction?
Tom of Finland: Sexual Liberator or Enslaver
Lying Writers
Review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson
Promiscuous Thoughts
A Crime of the Heart
A Letter to Michael Silverblatt
"Have you no decency, sir?"
Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans
He Hugged Moms and Dads
What is a Girly Man?
Review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive
The Gay Mammies
A Writer Protests
Review of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro
A Spirit Preserved in 'Amber'
The Supreme Court Case
Review of Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal
Review of Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951 by Christopher Isherwood
Review of Out For Good
Review of Hoyt Street: an Autobiography
Review of Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict.
Review of Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation
Review of Whores for Gloria
Muscles and Mascara
Review of "Blonde"
Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God and the Folks
Advice to the Next Generation
Sins of the Fathers
Beatin' Around the Bush

Cruise Not Gay! The Judge Has Spoken

The Horror, The Horror
LA--a Cliché?
Dominick, Mark & Orenthal
Holy Drag!
Ms. Hill & Mr. Tom
Mrs. guy Ritchie 
Supreme Court 
Tom Cruise 
New Times Article 

A Writer Protests

December 21, 1992

Ms. Karen Brailsford
Features, Associate Editor
Elle Magazine
1633 Broadway
New York, New York 10019

Ms. Brailsford:

As a journalist, you must know that few things are more insulting to a writer--and few things more easily detected--than to have someone pretend that he or she has read something one has written.

You, Ms. Brailsford, most certainly did not read my novel "The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez"; but that did not keep you from "reviewing" it for the New York Times Book Review--and reviewing it negatively.

As I pointed out in my letter printed in that book supplement a few weeks after your purported "review" appeared, you managed, in the few words allotted to you, to make a glaring factual mistake that would not have occurred had you read only the first paragraph of the novel.

Clearly in an attempt to mask the obvious fact that you had prejudged my book negatively without reading it, you filled the brief space allotted to it with irrelevancies: You chose by gratuitous implication to identify me as a "gay writer." How is that relevant? I was, Ms. Brailsford, raised among the Mexican-American people I describe in my novel. I would suggest that my being gay and Mexican-American has made me especially sensitive to all bigotry.

And exactly how did you find the title of my book "awkward"? Because the name of my Mexican-American protagonist has an accent mark? You extended the accusation of awkwardness to my novel's ending. Had you read the book even cursorily, you would have discovered that the ending is prepared for from the first paragraph, and developed throughout, as noted by the many other reviewers who praised it.

The "review" you concocted is the only negative one my novel received, as you will see by glancing at the quotations from other reviewers.

As a book-reviewer for the Los Angeles Times, Nation, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and other periodicals--and as the author of ten novels--I know the impact of reviews, and their ability to interfere with that cherished connection between writer and reader, but only with serious works. The meritorious overcome everything. The least one can do in acknowledgment of that impact on a literary work to read it if one agrees to review.

I protest your reckless mistreatment of my novel, Ms. Brailsford, but, more I protest your mistreatment of my beloved character, my beloved Amalia.

John Rechy

Enc: Quotes from reviews of
"The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez"

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