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Rae Spoon's First Spring Grass Fire on finding (queer) time

First Spring Fire

by Rae Spoon
(Arsenal Pulp Press,
2012;
$14.95)

In his remarkable 2009 text, Cruising Utopia, José Esteban Muñoz fixates on the ways in which queer bodies exist outside of and subvert what he calls “straight time.” Straight time, for Muñoz, is what tells queers that “there is no future but the here and now of our everyday life.” It grounds the fragmentation, suppression, and elision of queer histories, and denies futurity to those not counted under the rubric of a “reproductive majoritarian heterosexuality.”

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Alif the Unseen: Imagining the Arab Spring

Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen

by G. Willow Wilson
(Emblem Editions,
2012;
$22.99)

Say the word Islam and what words come to mind? Extremism, violence, complexity, anger? Not surprising, particularly in the wake of the violence that erupted following the publicity around that god-awful trailer, “Innocence of Muslims.”  And of course, it’s a bad rap that is far removed from the religion’s actual teachings.

But would you think of words like “fantastical,” “surreal,” “mysterious” and “magical”? Probably not.

Unless, that is, you’ve wandered off the beaten track to discover G. Willow Wilson’s delightful first novel Alif the Unseen.

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