A wonderful new voice from the Heartland. Here are some news from Amos Lassen in his own words from an e-mail to Billy Glover.
13 June 2007
and thanks so much for your nice letter----I have the feeling that you and I may have once corresponded before when I lived in New Orleans---I had come back from Israel for a year and then wrote for Impact paper then. Alas I have not been discovered by the Advocate but I will be in next Friday's Arkansas Times as the organizer of the first Arkansas LGBTQ film festival which s happening on June 23-24. We are very lucky to have as our guest Stu Maddux who directed a wonderful film "Bob and Jack's 52-Year Adventure" and then we will be showing 12 first run never before seen films in Arkansas back to back. I also organized a gay reading group here called Literary Pride--we meet once a month and discuss a book we all have read at the same time. I also have Cinema Pride--a gay movie group which shows a first run gay movie once a month. Literary Pride (my baby) was instrumental in getting the Arkansas Literary Festival to recognize gay literature and this year Andrew Holleran was our guest and wowed the festival. Three other lesser gay authors also came and Gore Vidal has been invited for next year. I am very, very proud of this. I worked very hard to get the festival to include us and I, myself, made the contact with Holleran (or as you probably know him, Eric Garber).. This alone has boosted the image of gays in Arkansas. I have been working very hard to build a sense of community here--Arkansas s very cliquish but I have been tearing those walls down.
I presently am on the faculty of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway in the writing department so I keep quite busy. I also teach Biblical Hebrew at several schools here and yes, I am an observant Jew.
You did read my review on Eureka Pride.com. I also post on Amazon and my reviews have been picked up all over the world so I must be doing something right. But let me tell you--none of this came easily--I pushed very hard and I am happy in Arkansas but my ultimate plan is to return to Israel.It's nice here but it just is not home.
As for "Jack and Lem". I receive books from publishers that ask me to review and that is how I came across that book. In many ways I questioned the value of yet another book about Kennedy but its subject mater is very important and t is well written. I am afraid that I do not travel much--I am busy building a new life but feel free to come and visit and have your friend contact me. Arkansas is a bit of an intellectual and cultural vacuum and I am always ready to meet new friends. Thanks again for your note.
Review of Michael Bronski's A Queer of the United States