Strange Relations

Strange Relations Masculinity, Sexuality and Art in Mid-Century America

Hardback (25 Jul 2024)

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Publisher's Synopsis

'Textured literary portraits of the masculine mind and body'
Raymond Antrobus, author of The Perseverance

In October 1960, James Baldwin and John Cheever spoke on a panel together at San Francisco State College. The troubled state of American society was under discussion, which Baldwin incisively diagnosed as a 'failure of the masculine sensibility'.

Strange Relations explores this crisis in mid-century masculinity and the lives and works of four bisexual writers who fought to express and embody alternate possibilities. Building on Walt Whitman's philosophy of the love between men, Ralf Webb considers the ways in which Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers, as well as Cheever and Baldwin, resisted in their art, as well as in their relationships, the damaging expectations of contemporary gender and sexuality.

With a curious, intelligent and sensitive gaze, Ralf Webb sheds new light on each writer. Together, these artists offer a powerful and moving argument for a transformative new masculinity, grounded in fluidity, love and intimacy.

'Webb's writing is of a quality rarely seen, and his book returns you to the world slightly changed, equipped with another angle of vision on the quiddity of man'
Diarmuid Hester, author of Nothing Ever Just Disappears

About the Publisher

Sceptre

Sceptre

Sceptre is the literary imprint of Hodder & Stoughton bringing you thought-provoking, award-winning and critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction.

Book information

ISBN: 9781399713214
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Imprint: Sceptre
Pub date:
DEWEY: 810.9353
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 352
Weight: -1g
Height: 222mm
Width: 138mm