Special Order - Subject to Availability Published:
New Press, The, 10/2009
n this groundbreaking book, playwright and social critic Sarah Schulman explores the family, the first place where all people-straight, gay, and bisexual-learn homophobia. For it is within the family that homophobia begins to control people's lives, whether as perpetrators or recipients. Written in the tradition of Susan Brownmiller's revolutionary Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape-which reconceptualized rape and transformed it from a private problem into an internationally recognized cultural crisis that is now punishable in the International Criminal Court-Schulman's book uncovers the hidden crime of "familial homophobia" and moves it into the open for social and political scrutiny. Schulman illustrates how societal homophobia is rooted in the family but reaches into all levels of social interaction, including how gay people treat each other. Ambitious, original, and deeply important, Schulman deftly probes the complex issues involved and prescribes third-party interventions on the part of both individuals and institutions of authority so that we can all live a better life together on truly equal terms. Ties That Bind will fundamentally change our understanding of homophobia and will redefine the political landscape not just for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people but for us all. Sarah Schulman is the author of nine novels, four nonfiction books, and numerous plays. A recipient of a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, Schulman is a professor of English at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, and a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.