Twelve-year-old Larry Blank fears he's as nondescript as his name. At his tony private school, where kids compete to claim links to oppression, his humdrum family history marks him so boring he's not even worth bullying. In the run-up to his bar mitzvah, he hits on the idea of spinning his ancestors' experiences into a saga harrowing enough to bestow on him the coveted status of underprivilege.
In 1990, the avant-garde jazz musician Sun Ra arrived at Dartmouth to collaborate with the school's jazz band, where Michael Lowenthal - an anxious, 20-year-old senior - played trumpet. As rehearsals got underway and two musical worlds collided, Lowenthal struggled with the improvisation that Sun Ra's sparse, yet spiritual, melodies demanded. In this essay, Lowenthal recounts his "otherworldly" experience with the famous jazz star who claimed to be from Saturn.
This is the ideal collection for all lovers of first-rate erotic literature. Edited by Susie Bright, whom the Utne Reader calls "one of the leading thinkers and visionaries of our time", this fifth annual edition of a best-selling series brings together the most outstanding erotic writing of the year.
"Disappointing at most"
What's it like to be both blind and gay? How does romance work for those who, despite this double disorientation from the mainstream, are certain of their sexual identity? To find out, Michael Lowenthal signs up for the Rainbow Bear Valentine's Cruise and joins a group of blind gay men, along with their human and canine companions, for a weeklong Mexican sail on the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas.
Michael Lowenthal's attempt to sell a used Subaru becomes at once a grand adventure and an excuse to call into question the very notion of the grand adventure in this personal essay on class, privilege, authenticity in storytelling, and what might just be the strangest one-car chase ever to go down in Western Massachusetts.