LGBT Center Unveils Book Club

The Center’s Book Clubs will meet at locations in Harrisburg, Lancaster and York, and will meet once a month.

Please contact Sean Maloney, Interim Program Director, smaloney@centralpalgbtcenter.org or
920-9534 to join one of these groups or start a new group in your area.

During September and October, all three book clubs will start with the two books below. Following these two selections, members of the club will chose from a list that they help create for two months ahead at a time

September Book: A Seahorse Year by Stacey D’Erasmo

D’Erasmo’s second novel, the follow-up to her acclaimed “Tea”, tells a story about love at the very edge: about the things people do out of love, the unexpected risks of intimacy, and how families shatter and re-form under duress. This quiet, penetrating novel follows a San Francisco family coping with a 16-year-old son’s mental illness. Christopher’s mom, Nan, is in a long-term relationship with girlfriend Marina, who’s like another mom; his sperm donor dad, Hal, is gay, a dancer-turned-CPA. As D’Erasmo shifts between different points of view (distinct, but united by her lush prose) she paints a portrait of illness, but also of growth and change.

October Book: Light Falls by Evan Fallenberg

When literature professor Joseph Licht invites his five adult sons to celebrate his 50th birthday in 1996 Tel Aviv, he hopes to win his boys’ love and forgiveness by plying them with their favorite foods. From that opening in Fallenberg’s ambitious debut, Joseph’s life unfolds in retrospect: 20 years earlier, as a married father of five, Joseph discovers he is gay as he falls in love with a charismatic, and married, rabbi. The rabbi kills himself not long after he and Joseph start their affair, and a crushed Joseph, in one fell swoop, jettisons his marriage and adherence to Modern Orthodox Judaism. The familial repercussions are myriad and extreme, leaving Joseph’s wife bereft and his sons with issues that range from low self-esteem and lack of trust to fanatical nationalism and religiosity.

While Joseph and the rabbi’s lovemaking is sentimentalized, and Joseph’s and one son’s homosexual awakenings seem abrupt, Fallenberg’s descriptions of Israeli life, from the rural and academic arenas to the gay milieu, are credible and absorbing. The book adroitly sketches the heartfelt struggles of a sympathetic cast.

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