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The Bisexual Library: Memoirs & Biographies

Below is a very incomplete list of books which might be of interest to bisexuals

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Henry and June: From “A Journal of Love” by Anaïs Nin

This bestseller covers a single momentous year during Nin’s life in Paris, when she met Henry Miller and his wife, June. “Closer to what many sexually adventuresome women experience than almost anything I’ve ever read….I found it a very erotic book and profoundly liberating” (Alice Walker).

Herself Defined: The Poet H.D. and Her World by Barbara Guest

Far preferable to Janice S. Robinson’s H.D. (1982), poet Guest’s critical biography of Hilda Doolittle – “H.D.” – is continually clear-eyed, closely contextual, and attentive to H.D.’s striving works (“a vital background composed of limited organisms”). The landmarks of H.D.’s life here become a series of pirouettes in the small space of hyper-artistic consciousness – the posturings, the revelations, the achievements. There’s full, thoughtful discussion of: the early love affair with Ezra Pound, while still in Pennsylvania; his European molding of Hilda into “H.D., imagiste”; her au courant self-definition as a Greek goddess (in that milieu, “people enjoyed long conversations about purity and simplicity, their eyes fastened on the heavens where dwelt the Greek constellations”); her linkup with rich and nurturing Bryher; her many male lovers (D. H. Lawrence, Richard Aldington, and Cecil Gray, who sired H.D.’s daughter); her analyses with Havelock Ellis, then Freud. And Guest also willingly deals with H.D.’s poetry and prose – without divorcing it from such personal issues as H.D.’s physical beauty, her neuroticism, and her money matters. (Guest judges H.D.’s best prose to be that of the 1950s – especially Helen in Egypt, written when H.D. was past 60.) Occasionally, it’s true, Guest’s evocative, allusive prose takes a jazzy or cutesy false step. (“Like Mary Poppins arriving by umbrella from another world, the Quaker lady from London, Harriet Weaver, appeared. . . .”) But such slips don’t detract much from the shrewd literary/psychological/social portrait here – with an H.D. who truly comes across as the distinctive, rare cultural phenomenon she was: the tangent that illuminates the center by its small, off-angled light. (Kirkus Reviews)

What It’s Like to Live Now by Meredith Maran

In 1968 Meredith Maran was expelled from her  prestigious New York high school for leading anti-war  protests. Nearly thirty years later, with an  ex-husband, two teenage sons, a female lover, and a  mortgaged dream house on the edge of the Oakland  ghetto, she’s still trying to change the world … but  this time it’s personal.
In  What It’s Like To Live Now, Meredith  Maran explores the gap between the dreams of the ’60s  and the realities of the ’90s, in a book filled  with uncommon insight–and her own wickedly  subversive sense of humor. Reading What It’s Like  To Live Now is like having dinner with  your funniest, most unshockable woman friend. You  won’t want it to  end.

Without Stopping: An Autobiography by Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles, the acclaimed author of The Sheltering Sky, offers moving, powerful, subtle, and fasclnatlng lnslghts lnto hls llfe, hls writing, and hls world.

Palimpsest: A Memoir by Gore Vidal

This explosively entertaining memoir abounds in gossip, satire, historical apercus, and trenchant observations. Vidal’s compelling narrative weaves back and forth in time, providing a whole view of the author’s celebrated life, from his birth in 1925 to today, and features a cast of memorable characters—including the Kennedy family, Marlon Brando, Anais Nin, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel by Edmund White

Poet and prodigy Arthur Rimbaud led a life that was startlingly short, but just as dramatically eventful and accomplished. Even today, over a century after his death in 1891, his visionary poetry has continued to influence everyone from Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan to Patti Smith. His long poem A Season in Hell (1873) and his collection Illuminations (1886) are essential to the modern canon, marked by a hallucinatory and hypnotic style that defined the Symbolist movement in poetry. Having sworn off writing at the age of twenty-one, Rimbaud drifted around the world from scheme to scheme, ultimately dying from an infection contracted while running guns in Africa. He was thirty-seven.
Edmund White writes with a historian’s eye for detail, driven by a genuine personal investment in his subject. White delves deep into the young poet’s relationships with his family, his teachers, and his notorious affair with the more established poet Paul Verlaine. He follows the often elusive (sometimes blatant) threads of sexual taboo that haunt Rimbaud’s poems (in those days, sodomy was a crime) and offers incisive interpretations of the poems, using his own artful translations to bring us closer to the mercurial poet.

Barriers to Love: Embracing a Bisexual Identity by Marina Peralta w/ Penelope James

In “Barriers to Love,” psychotherapist Marina Peralta uses her own life story to address the question of bisexual identity. Set in Mexico and California, Marina reveals how early sexual abuse led to sexual confusion in her adolescence. Jilted by her first boyfriend, comforted by a lesbian, and controlled by her widowed mother, she marries an emotionally detached man, and finds love with a woman. With vivid honesty, she portrays her love affairs with both men and women, and why the person and not the gender guides her choice of partner.

In Bed with Gore Vidal by Tim Teeman

Gore Vidal claimed there was no such thing as “gay,” only gay sexual acts. But what was the truth about his sex life and sexuality—and how did it affect and influence his writing and public life? With In Bed with Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood, and the Private World of an American Master, Tim Teeman interviews many of Vidal’s closest family and friends, including Claire Bloom and Susan Sarandon, as well as surveying Vidal’s own rich personal archive, to build a rounded portrait of who this lion of American letters really was away from the page. Here, revealed for the first time, Teeman discovers the Hollywood stars Vidal slept with and the reality of his life with partner Howard Austen—and the hustlers they both enjoyed. Was Gore’s true love really a boy from prep school? Was he really, as he said, bisexual, and if so how close did he really get to marrying women, including Claire Bloom and Joanne Woodward? And if Vidal really was gay, why did he not want to say so? Did his own sex secrets underpin a legal fight with adversary William F. Buckley, still being played out after his death? Much as Vidal fought against being categorized, Teeman shows how he also proved himself to be a pugnacious advocate for gay sexual freedom in his books, articles, and high-profile media appearances. Teeman also, for the first time, vividly and movingly evokes the final, painful and tragic years of Vidal’s life, as he descended into alcoholism and dementia, his death, and the bitter, contentious legacy he has left behind.

Kissing Oscar Wilde: A Love Story in the City of Light by Jade Sylvan

Kissing Oscar Wilde is the true memoir of author Jade Sylvan, who went to Paris to chase love and a man but was awakened by the endless open doors provided by new lovers in all forms. The prose within this high concept erotic novel erupts like poetry as we follow her trail from America to the endless underground world of artists, food and sex in this new non-fiction venture.

The Soundtrack of My Life by Clive Davis w/ Anthony DeCurtis

In The Soundtrack of My Life, music legend Clive Davis recounts an extraordinary five-decade career in the music business, while also telling a remarkable personal story of triumphs, disappointments, and encounters with some of the greatest musical artists of our time, from Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys.

Autobiography by Morrissey

Autobiography covers Morrissey’s life from his birth until the present day.

Lady Gaga: A Monster Romance by Hugh Fielder

Lady Gaga: A Monster Romance, an unofficial biography by Hugh Fielder, is one of the first in an exciting series of lush new books celebrating some of the most popular and influential celebrities – stars who are constantly talked about and whose every new release, life event or opinion is awaited with baited breath by legions of fans. In the Top Ten on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, with millions of followers, Lady Gaga is adored by a huge online community. An electro-synth-pop-glam-rock wonder-woman, Miss Stefani Germanotta has created a jaw-dropping persona, leaving us eye-popped by her outrageous space-age outfits. Not just a musical trailblazer and fashion queen, Gaga has been included in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world, her popularity enabling her to make a difference. If you love the music and the spectacle that is Gaga, then you gotta get “Lady Gaga: A Monster Romance” – the ultimate celebration of innovation and brilliance, with lush pics and inspirational words – a must-have for all fans.

Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics by Jackie Huba

In Monster Loyalty marketing expert Jackie Huba explores Gaga’s biography and fan philosophy and isolates the seven lessons any business can learn from her.

The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia by Alden Jones

Through personal journeys both interior and across the globe, Alden Jones investigates what motivates us to travel abroad in search of the unfamiliar.

So, what are we missing? Tell us which bi books changed your life in the comments and we’ll add them to the list.


Bi Library

Lynnette View All

Producer and Co-Host "The BiCast"

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