Nicola Field

Queer City

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Fans of Peter Ackroyd’s visceral histories will welcome this enthralling and compassionate exposé of LGBT+ life across 15 centuries in the UK capital. The book starts with the open homoeroticism of the ancient Romans, mining original sources previously expurgated of their “queer” content by nervous commentators.

Queer British Art 1861-1967

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Tate Britain’s first ever LGBT+-related exhibition explores connections between art and a diverse range of sexualities and gender identities. It covers the period between the abolition of the death penalty for sodomy in 1861 and the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 which partially decriminalised consensual sex between men over 21 (both legal changes affected England and Wales only). This is a historic exhibition then, inventive, fascinating, surprising and affecting. Nevertheless there are some interesting contradictions at play.

The Senility of Vladimir P

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This page-turning, vodka-sodden, tragi-comic crime thriller about political corruption and moral predicaments is a brilliant holiday read.

It’s set in the future: Russia has been taken over by a new generation of despotic oligarchs, dissent is suppressed and former Russian president Vladimir P, now in an advanced stage of dementia, has been hived off to his luxury dacha near Moscow.

Carol

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Todd Haynes’s themes of sexual outsiders and repressive social mores have seen him associated with the New Queer Cinema — a trend which redefines cultures of sexual transgression.

Putting solidarity back into Pride

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Nicola Field and Gethin Roberts of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners spoke to Socialist Review about politicising this year's Pride season.

We’ve just seen a majority Tory government elected. How will this shape the context of the Pride marches this year and the wider work you are doing through the re-launched Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM)?

Nicola: The Tories, who were seen before the election by the bourgeois gay movement as heroes because they brought in gay marriage, have now shown their true colours. The cabinet is full of homophobes, such as the new equalities minister, Caroline Dinenage, who voted against equal marriage.

Mommy

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On paper, this award winning film by the acclaimed young director Xavier Dolan is packed with “issues”. It is set in a fictional Canada after the 2015 election. Reformed public health laws have shifted the landscape for parents and teachers of children with special needs.

Forest Gate

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Peter Akinti, Jonathan Cape; £12.99

Poverty feels eternal on the gang-riven, brutal, barren estates of east London. In this vivid and energising first novel from Peter Akinti, two teenage friends - James, the youngest in a family of drug dealers, and Ashvin, a Somalian refugee - decide to escape by jumping, nooses around their necks, from the tops of twin tower blocks. Ashvin dies instantly. But James wakes up in hospital to face his dysfunctional family, a feeble psychologist and Ashvin's grieving sister, Armeina.

The Armies

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Evelio Rosero, Maclehose Press, £14.99

This important novel, which won Mexico's prestigious Tusquets Prize in 2006, is a story of a rural population terrorised by military raids, mercenary guerrilla kidnappings, torture and murder - robbed of land and the means of survival, torn apart and decimated. It could describe life in many parts of the world now suffering devastation from corrupt and brutal powers, backed by Western governments, multinationals and secret services. But Evelio Rosero is Colombian, his subject the barbarism being endured by Colombia, and The Armies is effectively suppressed in that country.

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