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May 17, 2004

It's Official: I Like the NYTBR's Direction

by Ron Hogan

Like you were all waiting for the Beatrice verdict to come in, I suppose... Anyway, though the execution could have been punchier, I liked the concept of getting Skip Gates and Cornel West to talk about Brown on the 50th anniversary of the decision. And I really like the extra-long cover feature on the "prodigiously researched and thoroughly unsentimental" Negro League Baseball.

And Joyce Carol Oates has given cause to possibly revise my take on Janet Maslin's possible coyness about Lucy Grealy and Ann Patchett, since the passages Oates quotes have just as much, if not more, barely contained homoerotic subtext. That, and reading the original New York article, gives one the strong impression that Grealy consistently eroticized the relationship as a means of asserting her position in it (and her preeminence in Patchett's emotional hierarchy). Which isn't to say that they were or weren't lovers, just that Grealy seems to have discovered effective ways of using physical affection to get what she wanted.

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