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A Letter to Harvey Milk: Short Stories (Library of American Fiction) Paperback – August 30, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Newman deals with a number of issues throughout the book: the AIDS crisis, President Reagan's controversial visit to Bitburg, the legacy of the Holocaust, religious chauvinism, "coming out" to parents, preservation of the Yiddish language, and more. Some of her issues seem a bit obvious and even forced, but overall she handles the material effectively.
I found the best story in the collection to be the title story; it's about the relationship between an elderly Jewish man and his writing teacher, a young Jewish lesbian. Also impressive is "The Gift," which consists of snapshots of a woman's life from age 5 to adulthood. "Something Shiny" tells the story of a woman's participation in a lesbian & gay march on Washington. Although much of the book has a dated feel, overall the collection is very moving, and Newman effectively uses touches of humor to offset the seriousness of much of her subject matter. For interesting companion texts, try "Rubyfruit Jungle," by Rita Mae Brown, and "Zami," by Audre Lorde.
These nine stories add a dose of humor while confronting the issues of our time like AIDS, and issues that have been around for centuries like mother-daughter misunderstandings. Ms. Newman's characters are just a bit crazy but this helps to transfer the story from the pages to memory.