Book review: Outer Voices, Inner Lives, edited by Mark McNease and Stephen Dolainski

McNease Outer VoicesOuter Voices, Inner Lives: A Collection of LGBTQ Writers over 50. Edited by Mark McNease and Stephen Dolainski. Foreword by Patricia Nell Warren. MadeMark Publishing, 2014. 169p. PB. ISBN 978-0-9916279-4-3. $8.95.

Both editors of Outer Voices, Inner Lives created websites to celebrate LGBT folk over 50. Mark McNease from Los Angeles founded http://www.lgbtSr.org, and Stephen Dolainski from New York City started http://www.RainbowGray.com. They have joined forces to edit this selection of 16 outstanding stories by LGBT men and women over 50 years old, including one transsexual woman. Some stories are as short as 3 pages, while others are up to 16. Each story concludes with a short biography of the author, each a professional writer, and information about any prior publication of the story.

Most of the stories, as one might expect from the collection’s title, center on characters or issues applicable to people 50 or over. In one story we travel with a daughter as she takes her elderly mother to Florida to swim with manatees. In another, we watch as an older man hosts a memorial service for his younger lover who has died of AIDS. In my favorite story of the collection, an 80-year-old lesbian tells her widowed neighbor about one of her most erotic adventures, attempting to entice her into a relationship–hope springs eternal! Another piece details a woman’s stream of consciousness recounting of the life she has shared with her partner as they both reach 50. In a lighter story, a young drug dealer and his partner encounter a flying saucer, but no one believes their story. To find out how these stories (any many, many more!) turn out, you’ll have to read the volume! You will enjoy it.

Outer Voices, Inner Lives is recommended for all libraries and individuals who are interested in contemporary LGBT writing.

James Doig Anderson
Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University

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