October 6, 2008 |
Months before he died in 1987, author James Baldwin showed up, unannounced, at Giovanni's Room, the gay bookstore named after his landmark homosexual love story from the mid-1950s. "I was flabbergasted," owner Ed Hermance recalls. "He looked around, autographed some books. It was over in 10 minutes. " Ten minutes and 10 years, to be precise. That's how long Hermance and his former business partner, Arleen Olshan, had been after Baldwin to visit Giovanni's, a fixture at 12th and Pine Streets.
December 3, 1987 |
Although I met him only once in person and ever so briefly at a cocktail party and reception in a Washington hotel about 10 years ago, I knew James Baldwin, the expatriate and gifted black writer who died of stomach cancer this week in France, through his works. My impression of Baldwin when I was introduced to him was, "Could this be the man who who wrote Go Tell It on the Mountain, Another Country and The Fire Next Time (his early works of the 1950s and '60s that had won international critical acclaim)
August 14, 1989 |
Tonight's edition of American Masters (Ch. 12, 9 p.m.) is not only engrossing, it also manages to do something I've never seen on television: It re-establishes the reputation of a writer. Titled "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket," this hour-long examination of Baldwin's life and writing reminds us how important Baldwin was, as a novelist, essayist and moral conscience for the nation. Born into a middle-class family in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin died 63 years later, a world-famous author who had lived much of his life abroad.
November 14, 1987 |
Until January, AIDS books filled only one shelf at the bookstore Giovanni's Room. Today, they occupy seven shelves - an entire bookcase - with more than 70 titles. The increased space devoted to AIDS books at the store at 12th and Pine Streets, which caters largely to homosexual men and women, reflects what editors and publicity directors of several publishing houses describe as an AIDS publishing boom. "There are tons of AIDS books," said Dayna Macy, publicity director of Celestial Arts, a publishing company in Berkeley, Calif.
May 5, 1995 |
Forget "The Bridges of Madison County. " The love story blacks and whites, gays and straights, men and women have been stockpiling since October is "B-Boy Blues. " The novel's an Afro-centric, unabashedly sexy, fiercely funny look at a romance that crosses subway tracks between Mitchell and Raheim, two young black men. One wears a white collar and tie, the other sports Tommy Hilfiger drag. But, let's get one thing straight. Author James Earl Hardy, 28, does not want to date a B-Boy.
March 16, 1995 |
If celebrity is a religion with its own heavenly hierarchy, then the trinity of Oprah, People magazine and Barbara Walters has conferred a holiness on Greg Louganis that takes him by surprise. Everywhere he has been on the 13-city book tour for his autobiography, "Breaking the Surface," a flock forms, waiting in lines for up to 10 hours for 10 seconds of his time, going away giddy and sustained because he has smiled upon them, signed their books, clasped their hands, looked into their eyes.
March 18, 1992 |
Some Backlash. Susan Faludi's bestseller about reaction against the women's movement notwithstanding, these may be the best of times for book-loving feminists in the Philadelphia area. A Havertown store caters to women dealing with addictions. Two Center City stores target feminists, lesbians and women of color. And increasingly, general-interest bookstores feature strong women's literature sections. At least where books are concerned, it seems that feminism is good business.
June 20, 2006 |
"He pulled me against him, putting himself into my arms as though he were giving me himself to carry, and slowly pulled me down with him to that bed. With everything within me screaming No!, yet the sum of me sighed Yes. " THUS BEGINS the tragic affair between the narrator, David, and the title character of "Giovanni's Room," by James Baldwin. This gay classic is 50 years old. In these days of out and proud people from all walks of life, what a difference half a century makes.
October 13, 1989 |
Here's a list of some other independent book stores you might enjoy. Each has a different flavor, a flavor that's made up of all the books stocked in each store. HIBBERD'S BOOKS 1310 Walnut (546-8811), Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hibberd's is the successor to the much-loved Sessler's Bookstore at the same location, and as such, is the purest example of a classic old book- lovers' haunt. Longtime proprietor Hayes Hibberd is carrying on the Sessler's tradition with a blend of new, discounted and some fine used books and a dedicated and helpful staff.
October 24, 1986 |
Tom Wilson Weinberg's first hint that he had talent as a lyricist and songwriter came at the age of 13, when he won a contest for writing the best words to his junior high school's alma mater. That initial promise was a long time coming to full fruition: Weinberg, 41, is only now basking in the success of his first full-scale musical venture, Ten Percent Revue, which is playing at the Walnut Street Theater's Studio Five through Nov. 1. The show has received strong reviews in Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia, the three major cities in which it has been performed.