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Gay Teen Novel 'Two Boys Kissing' Makes National Book Award Longlist for Young People's Literature

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The National Book Awards released its longlists today for Young People's Literature and Poetry.

Among those up for the award in Young People's Lit is David Levithan's gay teen novel Two Boys Kissing.

Levithan's novel interweaves the stories of a number of gay teens, foremost among them one couple who decides to break the world record for longest kiss.

Wrote the L.A. Times' Louis Bayard of the book:

Levithan interweaves all these players with surgical skill and with an unabashed attention to bodies. If the book's title doesn't get it banned from a thousand school libraries, its frankness will: "Peter lingers his hand down Neil's back, slips his fingers beneath his waistband, rests on the skin there, the heat. Neil moves in the opposite direction, his hand rising under the back of Peter's shirt, between his shoulder blades. ... Neil touches the nape of his neck, then slowly retreats back down, fingernails raking skin…."

What sets this book apart from Levithan's previous work (including the charming "Will Grayson, Will Grayson," co-written by John Green) is its yearning for tragedy. For brooding over these youths is a Greek chorus of ghosts: the generation of gay men who lived and loved and died in the first onslaught of AIDS.

"We are your shadow uncles," they declare, "your angel godfathers, your mother's or your grandfather's best friend from college, the author of that book you found in the gay section of the library."

Among those longlisted in Poetry is Frank Bidart's Metaphysical Dog.

BidartTowleroad book critic Garth Greenwell praised the book in a review earlier this year.

For nearly half a century, Frank Bidart has been obsessed by a single theme. In this brilliant new collection, he calls it “hunger for the absolute”: our seemingly inescapable need for purity and perfection, for some significance that transcends the organic. Whether this hunger leads to philosophy or religion, politics or love or art, it both instills our lives with meaning and makes them intolerable.

...I’ve been reading Bidart for more than half my life, and with this new collection I feel again how much his work has become crucial to my sense not just of poetry but of my own "ordinary divided unsimple heart." Bidart’s work is one of the unfolding wonders of the literature of our time. Read this book.


Nine Films Compete for Venice Film Festival's Queer Lion Award: VIDEO

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For the last six years, the Venice International Film Festival has awarded the Queer Lion to the year's 'best movie with LGBT themes & queer culture.'  This year, nine of the festival's films--and two which are in the official competition--will vie for the award, reports The Hollywood Reporter:

Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm and Via Castellana Bandiera from Emma Dante will be among the nine films selected to compete for the seventh Queer Lion award at the upcoming Venice Film Festival.

The Queer Lion is given out each year to a film screening in an official section – in or out of competition, in the Venice Days, Critics’ Week or Horizons sections -– that “accurately portrays lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters.”

Tom at the Farm -- a drama about a man (played by Dolan himself) who meets the family of his recently deceased lover, unaware he was gay – and Via Castellana Bandiera – about a lesbian couple in Sicily for a friend’s wedding – are the only two films vying for the award from Venice’s competition lineup.

The Queer Lion will be awarded by a special jury led by Angelo Acerbi, a programmer at the Turin Film Festival, who will be joined by Queer Lion founder Daniel Casagrande and Marco Busato of CinemArte, an Italian arts nonprofit.

This year's Venice Biennale will take place from August 28 through September 7.  Take a look at the trailers for two of the films vying for the Queer Lion--Johanna Jackie Baier's Julia and John Krokidas's Daniel Radcliffe-starring beatnik rom-dram Kill Your Darlings--AFTER THE JUMP...

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10 Emmy Snubs: "The Americans," Julianna Margulies, "New Girl" and More

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BY BOBBY HANKINSON

Yesterday's Emmy nominations gave us plenty to celebrate. The excellent Game of Thrones picked up 16 nominations (second only to American Horror Story's 17). Netflix was able to garner 14 nominations for its first batch of original programming. Emmy voters even managed to pleasantly surprise us by recognizing performances from Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Adam Driver (Girls) and Laura Dern (Enlightened).

Still, the choices were far from flawless. We've collected some critics' picks for the most egregious oversights, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "10 Emmy Snubs: "The Americans," Julianna Margulies, "New Girl" and More" »


Netflix Snags Emmy Award Nominations: Full List

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BY BOBBY HANKINSON

The nominees for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced this morning. Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul read the nominees joined by Neil Patrick Harris (a last-minute replacement for House of Cards' Kate Mara). 

Netflix earned its first Emmy nominations since debuting original programming. 

Check out the full list of nominees announced this morning, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Five Things To Watch For In The 2013 Emmy Nominations

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Photo via Twitter

BY BOBBY HANKINSON

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Kate Mara (House of Cards) will announce nominations for the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards tomorrow morning. We’ll have the full list of nominees once they are announced, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start speculating now.

While perennial favorites like Mad Men, Modern Family and 30 Rock are all likely to make an appearance, there are still plenty of wild cards. We’ve combed critics’ perspectives on potential nominees and compiled some insight into a few key questions going into Thursday’s announcement. 

More, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'Days of Our Lives' Star Chandler Massey Wins 2nd Daytime Emmy: VIDEO

Photo by DANNY MOLOSHOK:REUTERS

Chandler Massey won the award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series at the Daytime Emmys yesterday for his role as Will Horton, a gay character on Days of Our Lives. This is the second year in a row that Massey has won the award.

Watch a romantic scene between Massey and his onscreen lover Freddie Smith,
AFTER THE JUMP...

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