by Peter Murphy
FEB 2019 | Art Books
Tavia Nyong’o’s timely new book, Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life, opens with an introduction to the legendary New York City drag queen Crystal LaBeija. Nyong’o describes a scene from the 1968 documentary The Queen in which LaBeija expresses her frustration at the drag pageant’s judging systems, which favor her young white competitor. LaBeija engages in what Nyong’o terms “afro-fabulation;” she performs “for and against the camera” in order to undermine a system that “disparages the black femme glamour she finds beautiful in herself and others,” powerfully undermining the ways in which she is represented.
by Tom Motley
DEC 18-JAN 19 | Fiction
T. Motley is serializing Highlights from the Life of Raymond RousselÂ in the Brooklyn Rail, helped by a grant from the Spillway Fund, spillwayfund.org.
Text translated from the French by Harry Mathews, Trevor Winkfield, Mark Ford, John Harmon, John Ashbery, Mark Polizzotti, Rupert Copeland Cuningham, and Fedra Rodriguez Hinojosa.