Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘Felice Picano’

An excerpt from GAY PROPAGANDA to celebrate National Coming Out Day

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

“I’ll never forget it. I was 6. My mother and I went to the movies to see The Amphibian Man. In the middle of the movie, my mother bends down to me and whispers: ‘Look how beautiful Guttiere [the female protagonist] is!’ I nodded weakly, while not taking my eyes off Ichtiandr [the male protagonist]. I fell in love with him and asked to be taken to this movie a number of times. This goes to the question of why the very idea of ‘gay propaganda’ is absurd. As a biologist, I know that sexual orientation is formed in the womb and is impossible to influence in any direction. It’s not a matter of choice. When I was a child, I didn’t know any of this, of course, and didn’t understand why I was attracted to the beautiful Ichtiandr.”

—Vitaly, from Gay Propaganda: Russian Love Stories, edited by Masha Gessen and Joseph Huff-Hannon.

  Celebrates LGBTQ voices and National Coming Out Day

lean out cover

NIGHTS AT RIZZOLI wins The Dirk Vanden Award for LGBT Memoir

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

This is a very vivid, detailed memoir about gay life and a special bookstore in the early 1970’s of New York City. Worthwhile not just for the cast of famous characters and the love of books but for capturing a very specific era that many readers may not be aware of. Terrific writing flows naturally from one page to the other and I want to recommend this to all my gay friends who love Manhattan like I do.

Read the rest of the announcement here.

“[A] perfectly crafted memoir” Jerry L. Wheeler reviews NIGHTS AT RIZZOLI

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Picano was not the only employee of Rizzoli, though, and his characterizations of his fellow employees–the manager, Mr. M, and head clerk Armando in particular–are wonderful example of the fine detailing he embellishes his people with. They jump out of the book at you, nearly overshadowing the celebrities they all serve. By the end of the book, you know them as well as if you’d worked with them yourself.

Nights at Rizzoli is perfectly crafted memoir, as evocative of the time in which it is set as it is of the celebrities which populate it. Highly recommended.

To read the rest of the review, visit Out in Print.

Richard Burnett interviews FELICE PICANO, “Godfather of Gay Lit,” for Fugues Magazine

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

In the preface to his interview with Felice Picano, Richard Burnett provides a colorful account of Picano’s charm:

It never matters if Felice has product to sell – the world-class name-dropper and memoirist always is a great interview and has met just about everybody. Rudolf Nureyev once grabbed his bum, Felice had lunch in Fire Island one afternoon with Elizabeth Taylor, his cock was photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, and when he outed the late Anthony Perkins years after their affair, critics screamed, “Picano is a name-dropping slut!”

In other words, I adore Felice, the trailblazing writer whom I call the Godfather of Gay Lit.

To read the interview, visit Fugues Magazine.

FELICE PICANO interviewed by Lambda Literary

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Lambda Literary: The late comedian Mitch Hedberg once joked, “One time, this guy handed me a picture of him, he said, ‘Here’s a picture of me when I was younger.’ Every picture is of you when you were younger.” After writing about your earlier years, what appears the same/different about yourself?

Felice Picano: When I began writing memoirs in the early ‘80s, I was already aware that I was not the person I had been at eleven or fourteen or nineteen years old. As I get older, I’m coming to realize that I’ve had eight or nine lives already—like the cat whose name I share. The Felice Picano of the Jane Street years, or the one of the Violet Quill Club era, or of the Gay Presses of New York period, or even the first decade living in L.A., is only partly who I am now. I cannot truly know who that person was again since I’m no longer living his life. A friend recently sent me a video interview Vito Russo did with me in the mid-‘80s for his TV program then and I waited a long time before watching it out of fear that I would come off as a total jerk. But I was surprised when I watched how professional and together this younger version of me actually was. I am sufficiently distanced to appreciate that.

To read the rest of the interview, visit Lambda Literary

Lambda Literary reviews NIGHTS AT RIZZOLI

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Nights at Rizzoli is a brief, sketchbook record of Picano’s encounters in both realms of a New York City that feels far more glamorous, dangerous and free, and somehow more fraught with history, than the one we know today.

To read the rest of the review, visit Lambda Literary

FELICE PICANO interviewed on Monocle24

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Visit Monocle24 to listen to the podcast. Felice Picano is interviewed beginning at the 48:25 mark.

Aaron Hicklen interviews FELICE PICANO for Out Magazine

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

It was an era when books still mattered. For Picano, who arrived there in 1971 as a would-be novelist with rent to pay, Rizzoli, with its rococo chandeliers, marble floors, and lavish Italian shelves, was the stage for a series of glamorous encounters that fuel his lovely bagatelle of a memoir, Nights at Rizzoli (OR Books). Where else would you encounter Maria Callas, outfitted with a glittery clutch as though “she had been dropped through the ceiling for a Richard Avedon fashion shoot,” or find yourself the object of Philip Johnson’s amorous advances one night, and Salvador Dalí’s another?

To read the rest of the article, visit Out Magazine

FELICE PICANO names his favorite books of 2014 for OUT

Friday, December 19th, 2014

In Felice Picano’s delightful new memoir, Nights at Rizzoli (now available), he conjures a New York that was fabulous, bohemian, and gay. We asked the man of letters to share his 10 favorite titles from 2014, and it’s as eclectic as Picano himself. Here they are, in random order.

To read the full list, visit OUT

FELICE PICANO describes the ambiance and clientele that made The Rizzoli special in The Daily Beast

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Bianca Jagger was a regular. Often Mick would perch on those back stairs, perusing art books as he waited for her. Elton John needed to furnish a chateau in the south of France, and the Dubuffet upholstered living room set and the many Dalís in the art gallery proved to be the right decor.

In one corner of the shop, regulars like Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Abba Eban, would discuss photography with Senator George McGovern, while Anthony Quinn and Gregory Peck looked over fiction.

Eventually, among my own private customers were author S.J. Perelman, Dalí, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her mother-in-law, Rose Kennedy. Carolyn had her own customers, mostly art and craft mavens like Blanchette Rockefeller.

To read the rest of the article, visit The Daily Beast

Toby Johnson reviews NIGHTS AT RIZZOLI

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Felice Picano has lived a charmed life. We get to share in that charm by attending to his storytelling.

To read the rest of the article, visit Toby Johnson’s website.

Amos Lassen reviews NIGHTS AT RIZZOLI

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

“If anyone can tell us how it was once for gay writers, it is Felice Picano. […] I am just amazed at the accuracy of his memory and in awe of his storytelling.”

To read the rest of the article, visit Amos Lassen’s website

FELICE PICANO interviewed by Windy City Times

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

“I’ve led an extremely adventurous life… as I only discovered a few years ago. I’ve met all kinds of extraordinary people and so essentially that’s what I’m doing: writing about people, places, and things and less about myself,” said Picano. “I’m like the character watching all this happen.”

Carlos T. Mock, who was on the group book tour with Picano similarly expressed: “One of the nice things about the books—the reason I really like them—is they not only tell his story but he tells the story of gay culture during the 60s and 70s.”

Nights and Rizzoli depicts a life through the lens of a gay man in New York who lucked into a job at the elegant Manhattan bookstore—Rizzoli—that captures Picano’s life as well as the lives of many others.

To read the rest of the interview, visit Windy City Times

FELICE PICANO‘s Ann Arbor tour covered in Pride Source

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

[Picano’s] works have included fiction, non-fiction, plays and criticism. His work as a publisher and editor has started the careers of scores of younger gay writers. And now he says, “The gay icon and actress Mae West once said, “Keep a diary when you are young, and when you are old, it will keep you.’ I’m testing out that theory with these recent books of true stories and memoirs.”

To read the rest of the article, visit Pride Source

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