Tag Archives: gay memoir

Released May 10, 2012: “Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World” Edited by Red Haircrow

From Flying With Red Haircrow:

Description: “This is an imaginative collection of memories and observations written from the perspective of a young man who was orphaned early, who was gay, deaf and Russian. He was simple and complex, light-hearted and serious, whimsical and infinitely strong, and when he loved, he loved with all his heart and soul.

A former sex worker and later a husband, he was an amateur activist and philosopher, a startlingly intelligent, passionate individual able to intensely appreciate even the small wonders of the world and the people for whom he cared.

Part diary, part dialogue, part rhetoric, “Silence Is Multi-colored in My World” is based on actual experiences and is a literary portrait of a man with nothing to hide and everything to reveal. It is a slice into the willing veins of a mental and emotional free bleeder.”

Genre: Creative non-fiction, GLBTIIQ

Published: May 10, 2012

Publisher: Flying With Red Haircrow

ISBN: 9781476164861

Available: Smashwords, OmniLit and other online distributors

Introduction:

“Who am I?

I am G.Y.S., a profoundly deaf man. I have blue eyes and red hair, which I wear long. I am gay and Russian, and was born in 1978 in the Ukraine, but I moved myself to Germany when I was fourteen. You’ll learn how and why later.

My words are a mélange of impressions, memories and observations for I love many things and am distressed by many things. I have wandered to a number of countries and enjoy meeting people and getting to know new ideas and perspectives. I find the world both a fascinating and terrible place.

Photography, Nature, Overcoming Disabilities, Inter-societal Understanding, and Love are some of the topics that interest, concern and keep my attention. In writing about me I wish I could have said something clever, unique or witty, but this is simply me: sometimes I’m silly, sometimes I’m angry, sometimes you may find me annoying or overly sad but I’m always honest and sincere.”

Flash bits about me? I once blew up a vacuum cleaner (not on purpose!). I prefer to sleep during the day but I’m not a vampire. Sometimes I hate being bothered to eat because chewing is usually necessary but can be so very boring.

Other works from Flying With Red Haircrow:

Night Shift

Katrdeshtr’s Redemption

The House of Doom, Dreams and Desire

The Coat: Secrets of a Hatcheck Boy

The Angel of Berlin

Enigma,Enigma Book 1 by Nephylim

Fighting The Man, Enigma Book 2 by Nephylim

Non-fiction:

Songs of the Universal Vagabond

CORE: A Poetry Collection (Coming 6 June!)

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Filed under Gay Interest, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Writers and Writing

Song of Fire by Jon O’Bergh

Review: “Song of Fire” is a unique type of what is essentially a memoir and personal journey through the author’s experiences in which the love of music was dominant. It is written as a series of vignettes combining both words and musical tracks you can download to fully appreciate the depth of the author’s passion as scenes of his life are revealed as the motivation of composing a song. Even were a reader deaf, the descriptions of melody and sound might be quite provocative. Some of the titles include “Loma Prieta”, “Orpheus in the Underworld”, “Uncertainty” and “The Blue Grotto.”

The writing itself is expansive, and was refreshingly mixed with intelligent, well-written prose and vivid memories often combining contemporary observations and historical perspectives. The commentary was both informative and interesting discussing everything from Mayan cosmology or Darwinian theories; from cacao bean differences to the innate attraction to music most of us are born with. Definitely a work of creative non-fiction, whether you are a true lover of music and its history or not, “Song of Fire” was what I call a beautiful work, and revealed aspects of the author’s life. What I particularly appreciated also was the author’s presentation of the sometimes utter normalcy yet special dynamics that gay life and relationships can naturally have.

I absolutely have to say this is one of the best books of its type I’ve ever read in my life. I literally had tears in my eyes while as I read and listened, for I’d rarely experienced anything that spoke to me strongly. I felt I’d been privileged to share the spirit of one I find comfortable soul-wise. Thank you, Mr. O’Bergh for letting me read your work.

Reviewer Note: Some prefer to get right into a book, but unlike a print copy, which you can usually flip over and find the synopsis on the back cover, with e-books that’s not an option. You download them after deciding to purchase after reading the description, and you start reading at your convenience. Sometimes it is easy to forget what it is exactly about if there was a long pause. This author chose to include an “about this book” section at the beginning. I completely appreciated that because I didn’t have to do a web search for it until I wanted.

  • Publication date: June 12, 2011
  • Publisher: Jon O’Bergh
  • Available at eMusic (music, and other places online), Smashwords (text and music)
  • Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction, Autobiography
  • Source: Author

Description: From the rotational beat of a pulsar in space to the rhythm of the heart, music infuses everything in the universe. Is it possible that music is the essence of the universe itself? The narrator in Song of Fire is on a journey to discover this fundamental truth. The interconnected stories are a rhapsody on the elements that constitute how we experience the world: the moments of humor, sorrow, passion and revelation that give significance to our origins and endings.

The vignettes are arranged according to how they resonate with one another, and are organized into four chapters titled after the four elements: Fire (Tales of Music, Love and Passion), Earth (Tales of Appetite, Desire and the Body), Water (Tales of Soul, Spirituality and Compassion), and Air (Ghost Stories, Spirits and Tales of Passage). As the narrator explains, supernovas “collapsed in an explosive release of energy, creating and dispersing the heavier elements into interstellar space: oxygen, for the air we breathe; carbon, present in the earth as the basis of life; and the marriage of hydrogen and oxygen to create water, which constitutes two-thirds of our bodies. We are literally made of stardust. A bit of fire. A bit of earth. A bit of water. And a bit of air.”

The real incidents that comprise Song of Fire range from the poignant to the humorous: love and loss; the history of chocolate; hurricanes and earthquakes; a close brush with a mass murderer; eye-opening journeys to other cultures; the presence of God. Accompanying the stories are links to original songs that provide another dimension through which to experience the tales. The songs are included with the purchase of the ebook and can be listened to online or downloaded.

 Author Bio:

Jon O’Bergh has been playing piano since the age of 7. He graduated from the University of California at Irvine, where he studied piano performance and composition while performing with a rock band. He has released 7 CDs, including “Intergalactic Odyssey”; “Specters of Twilight”; “Songs from Other Planets”; “Meditations from a Lost World,” which reached #3 nationwide on the NAV chart; “Sacred Spaces”; “Carta,” which reached #1; and “Millennial Landscapes,” which reached #2.

He has recorded and performed with the jazz/funk fusion band Gemini Soul, and co-produced songs for Marcel on his 2003 release “Uptown : 2025 A.D.,” and for Jarrod on his debut CD “Every Part of Me.” Jon has written songs, music for television, and concert music. “Timescape 2” for piano and violin introduced his music to San Francisco audiences in a concert that was subsequently broadcast by National Public Radio station KQED.

Website: http://obergh.net
Blog: http://obergh.net/songoffire

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Filed under Gay Interest, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Reviews

The Men with the Pink Triangle by Heinz Heger

Review: This was a long-awaited read for me. It was a read I had to prepare myself for, before I could actually read it. I’m a scholar of WW2 and Holocaust literature and have a large collection of material, but for a topic dealing even more closely with myself and being, I had to take time to ground myself.

Whether you are just a passing person who might wish to learn about what homosexuals suffered in concentration camps (and there were fewer comparatively and earlier in the Nazi regime directly), or someone who is looking for a wider view of all inmates who were interred or murdered, this memoir can provide views into life in the camps, especially for certain populations. What is does beyond that is provide a glimpse into the ugly aspects of “male” life, and the unique, sexual brutality so-called “straight” men have perpetrated against homosexuals who’ve expressed or more openly or innocently (depending on your perspective) their attraction and love of those of their own gender.

I don’t even know quite how to express it, but I literally was brought to the floor, unable to move, weeping, remembering how one can be forced to do things just to survive, and knowing the ones who forced you to debase yourself so horribly were so-called “straight” men who went/go home to their wives or girlfriends, who don’t think twice about using someone. That is the perspective Heinz Heger lived and endured on top of the diabolical, sickly human mechanisms of the Nazis and those who benefited from their regime.

I wanted to know more of his personal feelings when he described seeing thousands of prisoners of all kinds not just be “liquidated”, but when he directly saw the evidence: the coursing of blood from trenches full of recently shot bodies instead of his only stating how the villagers near the camp complained of the local streams being tainted with blood, but I understand why his account involved only that. Sometimes you can only recount abstracts like that, because looking too directly into the memory will take you back, and you know, in your present life that you couldn’t endure that.

Not a “speciality” book. Not just for gays or other LTIIQ people. If you are going to read Holocaust books, include this one as well. Be aware and outraged that homosexuals were targeted and murdered just like other groups, just because they believed and lived a certain way….BUT the vast majority were never compensated as were other survivors. They were pushed aside and discriminated against, and even had officials discount their memories, an even more debilitating experience than survivors whose stories were commiserated with. So in effect, these men were violated over and over, not just by perpetrators, but by those who supposedly were there to liberate and help them as they did other concentration camp inmates. They were discriminated against just like what continues against gays today in a variety of countries across the world.

Edition: Paperback, 140 pages
Published: June 1st 2010
Publisher: Alyson Books (first published 1980)
ISBN: 1593501781 (ISBN13: 9781593501785)
Source: Self-purchase

More Info:

The full title is : ” The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps.” It was written by survivor Josef Kohout, who used the penname Heinz Heger. To learn more about the Nazi concentration camp survivor who died in 1994, please read the article by Kurt Krickler found at  Wikipedia (In German).

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Filed under Memoir, Non-Fiction, Reviews