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Book Club Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry - by Imani Perry

Join us for Imani Perry's (Yale '94) biography Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry. Author of Raisin in the Sun. You can also watch the PBS movie “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart"

Thursday, August 18, 2022

8:00-9:30 pm ET (Eastern Time); 5 pm Pacific Time

Via Zoom link.  Please RSVP for the Zoom link.  (Same as last month, if you attended before)
 


[We send book announcements to everyone who indicates an interest in the Book Club] - if you aren't receiving these emails please send natasha@yalegala.org your details. 


1. Imani Perry (Yale '94)'s biography Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry (2018) - 250 pages.  

You can also watch the PBS movie "Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart" :) 

"A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, Black artists and intellectuals of the twentieth century. 

Winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction

Winner of the Shilts-Grahn Triangle Award for Lesbian Nonfiction

Winner of the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award

New York Times Notable Book of 2018


"Lorraine Hansberry, who died at thirty-four, was by all accounts a force of nature. Although best-known for her work 
A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. While her close friends and contemporaries, like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, have been rightly celebrated, her story has been diminished and relegated to one work—until now. In 2018, Hansberry will get the recognition she deserves with the PBS American Masters documentary “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” and Imani Perry’s multi-dimensional, illuminating biography, Looking for Lorraine.

After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation’s first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, among others. Looking for Lorraine is a powerful insight into Hansberry’s extraordinary life—a life that was tragically cut far too short.

A Black Caucus of the American Library Association Honor Book for Nonfiction

A 2019 Pauli Murray Book Prize Finalist

 

 


 2. About Imani Perry: Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and the author of six books.  Perry is Yale 1994, Harvard PhD in American Studies, JD from Harvard Law School and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center. 

https://aas.princeton.edu/people/imani-perry
 
Wikipedia Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imani_Perry


3. Where to find the book: 

Besides your library -- mine has 6 copies of the book! -- (including inter-library loan), and retailers (e.g., Kindle edition $13.99 [direct link] or use the free Kindle app on any device; book is available from all booksellers in every format).  I saw it available used for as little as $4. 

Book excerpt 

Book excerpt

  

4. *OPTIONAL RESOURCES* for the book and Imani Perry here: 

Imani Perry interview and reading on YouTube. (1 hour): 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdW6EdzgOP8


Publisher's page about the book
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/567153/looking-for-lorraine-by-imani-perry/


Lorraine Hansberry interview on YouTube - about Raisin in the Sun.
(1 hour) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkFR_6DGJ3o

 

5. Reviews

NY Times Review of book (2018): 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/books/review/imani-perry-looking-for-lorraine-hansberry.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuomT1JKd6J17Vw1cRCfTTMQmqxCdw_PIxftm3iaua3HNDm4TiO4SBIubvF3Ae6tueJwy2j2dRZpZPaU1Vbl2yehcPkpiDgevuN6An44fKiQzpMezV2Ut1Z_XR6F-8SPvaiPxDtZD84CFnkDMNimsU7rCgTZnfFw79Y01dFioi3ZcxrPGF-B3xtUp3Pc-DpgrECMLbSiL7Pe5DRwpPtmWf1qLvFlNLuJaWz3Undea7qtRM1kBTAKbEw4spDo0-9heO9gIPangLxBGecD2hL4ZDmwAP57-TtRqBNCSz-M2xOaL_R-cy8O2xOE0ErFXut7GsGW8N1UoQNCGLalgRbiH-XB1rHiKw2zG2Fo&smid=url-share


https://jclarkmedia.com/bookresources/#forster


–> ** INVITE ** ANY YALE ALUMNI to our Imani Perry discussion on August 18

 

 

NOTE: Our informal group doesn’t have any set “curriculum;” we discuss the books that members nominate and that we all vote for… but ongoing themes, connected to LGBTQ+ experience – sometimes including Yale – do emerge. At discussions, each of us can bring up ANY points we want. We welcome the widest range of opinions, in a lively collegial atmosphere – Boola Boola Redux! 

 

Yale GALA LGBTQ+ Book Club is a series of lively Zoom discussions of LGBTQ+ contemporary and classic novels, non-fiction, plays, and poetry. All alumni are welcome, of all orientations, genders, races, and points of view. We meet the third Thursday of every month at 8 pm ET via Zoom. 

 

To register, please email natasha@yalegalaevents.org with the subject line, “Yale GALA LGBTQ+ Book Club: Imani Perry's The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry -- or simply Book Club

 
More Info: 


SOME BOOKS TO CONSIDER FOR FUTURE DISCUSSIONS

 

We are NOT limited to the below recommendations but see what you think of these diverse titles. Nominate any LGBTQ+ book that interests you, contemporary or classic, whether a work of FICTION (novel, story collection), NON-FICTION (history, biography, memoir, essay collection), PLAY (or musical), or POETRY; there doesn’t need to be a Yale connection. Mention your choice, at a discussion, and I’ll add it to the following list for future group emails. We periodically, live at the beginning of discussions, take nominations and then vote as a group.

For our UPCOMING OPEN DATES (‘Third Thursdays’) – in the next couple of months, we need to select books for: September XX, October YY and November ZZ.  
If you’re looking for some ideas, here are major LGBTQ+ book ‘best lists’ and award winners (Lambda Literary, Publishing Triangle, Stonewall Awards, more). NEW!  BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) LGBTQ+ literature with links to external BIPOC sites. You’re not limited to those websites. PLEASE NOTE: new titles take a few months to become widely available in libraries. Here are members’ recommendations.

 

  • AMAN recommends: (FICTION) Delicious Foods by James Hannaham;  Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu;  The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.;  The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer.  (NON-FICTION) Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition by P Carl;  Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
  • ANN recommends: The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village memoir by Samuel R. Delany
  • BRUCE recommends: Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin;  The Gallery by John Horne Burns (1947); Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns by David Margolick
  • CHIP recommends: Poetry of Emily Dickinson (list of Dickinson’s most openly lesbian poems)
  • JIM recommends: The Bell by Iris Murdoch;  The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde;  Julian [last ‘pagan’ Roman emperor] by Gore Vidal;  Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts by James M. Saslow (includes hundreds of art photos; winner of two Lambda Literary Awards) – THANKS to Prof. Saslow, Pictures and Passions is briefly FREE to download complete (use the basic “Download PDF” link; 59 MB).
  • MARY ANNE recommends: The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen
  • TASH recommends: Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry. There is also a PBS documentary :) 
  • CAROLYN recommends: Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl b Andrea Lawlor and XX by Carolina Robertis
  • What would YOU – including new members – like our group to discuss? Nominate ANY LGBTQ+ book that interests you! I’ll add your recommendations here.

 

BOOKS WE’VE DISCUSSED (Complete List):

 

  • July 2022: Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, by Andrea Lawlor (2017)
  • May and June 2022: Maurice, by EM Forster (1913 - published 1971 with a happy ending)
  • April 2022: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
  • March 2022: Ain't I a Woman, by bell hooks
  • February 2022 – Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stephen Sondheim’s “Musical Thriller”
  • January 2022 – Song in a Weary Throat, Pauli Murray’s memoir. (Movie available)
  • December 2021 – Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s novel
  • November 2021 – Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart’s novel
  • October 2021 – Fa**ots, Larry Kramer’s satirical first novel
  • September 2021 – The Sparsholt Affair, Alan Hollinghurst’s novel
  • August 2021 – The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith’s thriller novel
  • July 2021 – Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, Paul Monette’s memoir
  • June 2021 – Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s novel
  • May 2021 – The Inheritance, Matthew Lopez’s play, inspired by E.M. Forster’s novel Howards End
  • April 2021 – The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne’s novel
  • March 2021 – Native Country of the Heart, a Memoir, by Cherríe Moraga
  • February 2021 – Leaves of Grass (1855 first version), Walt Whitman’s poetry
  • January 2021 – The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s novel
  • December 2020 – Call Me by Your Name, André Aciman’s novel [no meetings in October or November]
  • September 2020 – The Gods of Tango, Carolina de Robertis’s novel [no meeting in August]
  • July 2020 – Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta’s novel
  • June 2020 (our first discussion) – Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Audre Lorde’s autobiographical novel (“biomythography”)

 

 More info: http://www.yalegala.org/article.html?aid=704


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