Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘The Dream of Doctor Bantam’

THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM author Jeanne Thornton interviewed on the Evergreen Review podcast

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

“Dale Peck talks with Jeanne Thornton, author of the novel The Dream of Doctor Bantam and the collection The Black Emerald. They discuss Thornton’s relationship with the editing process, her experiences growing up in Texas, Ayn Rand, and Dirty Dancing.”

Listen here.


Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

I’m plugging away at two other books right now, and was going to save everything for an end-of-the-month newsletter, but I finished Jeanne Thornton’s novel The Dream of Doctor Bantam a few days ago and have been having a lot of FEELINGS. There’s a whole genre of book reviews that are really personal essays and can stand on their own as pieces of literature, but I don’t think I’m going to attempt something like that for this book.

Read the full review at Thursday.Ink.

Read a recap of JEANNE THORNTON‘s #TwitterFiction

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Earlier today, Jeanne Thornton, author of The Dream of Doctor Bantam, took to Twitter to craft a story of two trans women detectives solving crime (and paying the utilities) in real time. For those who couldn’t participate, a full archive of her story is available online.

Sarah McCarry provides her 5-minute impression of JEANNE THORNTON‘s THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM for Subway Book Review

Friday, April 17th, 2015

To read the review, visit the Subway Book Review Instagram

JEANNE THORNTON, author of THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM, named a 2015 Lambda Literary Writers Workshop fellow

Friday, March 20th, 2015

To see the full list of fellows, visit Lambda Literary

JEANNE THORNTON named a featured writer in the upcoming Twitter Fiction Festival

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

To read the full press release, visit Twitter’s announcement


Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Watch the full reading on Youtube.

Texas Books in Review reviews THE DREAM OF DR. BANTAM.

Monday, July 1st, 2013

This is not a book for the light-hearted. This is not a book for those who are not accustomed to the world of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. However, if you prefer your fiction raw, honest, and in-your-face, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on UT-Austin graduate Jeanne Thornton’s debut novel, which follows the adventures of a 17-year-old misfit named Julie Thatch living in Austin after the person she looked up to most in the world, her sister, is killed.

Read the full review at The Fiction Circus


Lambda Literary Award Finalist THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM is reviewed by Full Stop

Monday, April 29th, 2013

In Los Angeles, around the area where Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue converge, there is a huge building, the size of a city block and royal blue. This building is the main Scientology Center; the small road leading to the parking garage is called L. Ron Hubbard Way. Late last year, Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie The Master drew attention for being kinda-sorta about Scientology. But The Master was mostly about what the day-to-day business of being a cult looks like. I went into the theater expecting to be scared, but The Master basically just looked pretty.

This was my context when I picked up Jeanne Thornton’s The Dream of Doctor Bantam. When most people read the word cult on the back of a paperback, they either think of the Illuminati or Scientology, and Thornton’s given a few interviews saying she was inspired by the latter. I assume other readers will bring some similar associations to Doctor Bantam, plus or minus Lawrence Wright’s recent treatments.

But I recommend leaving the Scientology context behind when reading Doctor Bantam. It would be a shame for readers to decide what the book will be like before they even crack the spine. The book doesn’t really function as an examination of life in one cult or another. Instead, it’s about what it is to be the kind of person susceptible to joining a cult — and how close we all are to being that kind of person. It’s also about what it is to be the kind of person who falls in love with someone in a cult, and how close we may be to becoming that kind of person, too.

Read the full review at Full Stop.

THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM by Jeanne Thornton is named a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards were announced today by the Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) in Los Angeles. Books from major mainstream publishers, from academic presses, from both long-established and new LGBT publishers, as well as from emerging publish-on-demand technologies, make up the 687 submissions for the “Lammys.” The finalists were selected from a record number of submissions, and, for the first time, the judges were encouraged to choose more finalists in those categories that drew a large number of submissions.

Now in their twenty-fifth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2012. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on Monday evening, June 3, 2013, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union,7 East 7th Street, New York City 10003. Details on the annual after-party location are forthcoming.

For more information and the full list of finalists visit Lambda Literary.

Bookslut talks to Jeanne Thornton about THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Jeanne Thornton is the kind of artistic superwoman who not only writes a critically praised novel, she also does all of the book’s illustrations. A former editor at Seven Stories Press, Jeanne currently lives in Austin where she is the co-publisher of the comics journal Rocksalt. She is also co-founder of Fiction Circus, a literary journal and performance group based out of New York City and Austin, Texas.

Jeanne’s debut novel The Dream of Doctor Bantam was released by O/R Books in September. It’s a love story that’s remarkably free of the flowery adornments typically attached to teenage romance. After her sister Tabitha’s death, 17-year-old Julie Thatch finds herself drawn to the intense and obsessive Patrice Marechal. Patrice is a devoted member of the Institute of Temporal Illusions, a Scientology-like cult that Julie’s sister had shown interest in before she died. The more Julie falls for Patrice, the more convinced she becomes of her duty to save Patrice from the Institute’s brainwashing powers, while at the same time struggling to overcome the seemingly impossible challenge of loving someone whose most cherished beliefs are completely at odds with her own. I was thrilled to discuss the novel’s treatment of sexual discovery, the state of indie publishing, and the wisdom to be gained from cooking mishaps with the multi-talented Jeanne Thornton.

Read the interview in Bookslut

THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM is reviewed in the literary magazine Neon

Friday, January 4th, 2013

The Dream Of Doctor Bantam is the somewhat-enigmatic title of the debut novel by Jeanne Thornton. Initially it’s hard to determine to what the title might refer. It seems to suggest something archaic or scientific – two descriptors which could not be more inappropriate for the first chapter of this story.

Read the review in Neon

THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM is reviewed on Lambda Literary

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Meet Julie Thatch, the teenage protagonist of Jeanne Thornton’s debut novel, The Dream of Doctor Bantam. Julie is seventeen, an angst-filled teenager coping with the untimely death of her beloved older sister while uncovering the wild world of sexuality and love.

The Dream of Doctor Bantam opens with a flashback, Julie and her sister Tabitha out late one night at IHOP, and then moves forward to the novel’s present time, which begins the day after Tabitha is killed while running headlong (and naked) into an oncoming car. The novel follows Julie’s coming-of-age in the year after Tabitha’s death—without giving everything away, Julie experiments and uncovers her sexuality, falls in love with a girl named Patrice, starts smoking, drops out of high school, gets her first job, and more – but don’t expect a pat, generic ending. In fact, don’t expect anything pat or generic at all out of this book. It’s full of strange plot twists and struggles, it teeters on the edge between dream and reality, it’s gut-wrenching and will make you wince and roll your eyes and wonder if your own coming-of-age was quite so fraught (and you’ll realize it was). It’s funny and sad without trying too hard, and more than anything else, it’s honest.

Read the full review on Lambda Literary


Thursday, December 6th, 2012

In the Introduction to Michael Zapruder’s book/album/sculpture/scroll Pink Thunder, Scott Pinkmountain writes that the included poems “stake their foundation on the minutiae of accidental revelation, trusting the details of life to point out the bigger picture.” Sometimes those minutiae are sad, overwhelming, representative of the worst of life’s aspects. Somehow—and I think this skill is what distinguishes truly great writers—in the detailed pains, however small, catharsis is found. At least, it has always been that way for me.

The world of The Dream of Doctor Bantam, Jeanne Thornton’s debut novel, mostly resembles our own except no one seems to want to be in it (you may think that, too, is a similarity, but I prefer not to).

Read the full review on Books Matter

THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM is reviewed on Autostraddle

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I read The Dream of Doctor Bantam by Jeanne Thornton because Eileen Myles called the fantasy novel “pure Americana, cinematic and idly mean,” adding that “it’s all punk heart, messily thudding.” She said something about loss, and the description said something about lesbian romance.

When I received it in the mail, the only thing I thought was damn I love that cover.

Read the full review on Autostraddle

The Rumpus features an illustrated review of THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Rumpus_Dream of Doctor Bantam

Read the full review on The Rumpus

The Rumpus interviews Jeanne Thornton about THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

I met Jeanne Thornton a long time ago in the world of zines and she’s long been one of my faves, so I was excited to learn that she has a Real Live Book to share with the world. Jeanne is a Beach Boys enthusiast, a transperson, and one of the founders of The Fiction Circus, a website and print zine that showcases fiction and comics. This is her first novel.

I am a slow reader with a cold, stony heart, but I finished The Dream of Doctor Bantam in three days, and when it was over, I cried, hugged my dog, and went for a power-walk to process all of my new feelings. It was like going to a Gordon Ramsay steakhouse when you are used to the Wendy’s dollar menu. This is not just a book; this is some serious literature. The plot takes place in Austin, Texas and revolves around chainsmoking, Scientology, and the gut-kicked feeling of falling in love with someone who is nuts. Read on!

Read the interview on The Rumpus

Jeanne Thornton talks with Interview magazine about her book THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Jeanne Thornton’s debut novel The Dream of Doctor Bantam (OR Books) is a punky, poetic rush of a book. Julie Thatch is beautiful and bruised, a chain-smoking 17-year-old whose older sister has killed herself. Patrice is a French girl living in Julie’s Texas, caught up in a cult, the Institute of Temporal Illusions. As Julie’s budding body burns for Patrice, she becomes increasingly involved in a servile relationship, haunted by memories of her sister’s death. Sexy, lucid, and quirky, Thornton nails loss, loneliness, and creepy cult mentalities. We spoke with Thornton about the difference between fun and survival, the yearning of youth, Tarot cards, Scientology, and true love.

ROYAL YOUNG: There’s a big difference between having fun and surviving. But having fun is what a lot of people want to do.

JEANNE THORNTON: I was born in 1983, with the last vestiges of this notion that you weren’t supposed to enjoy whatever you did for a living. I think when I was like 14 or 15, all my friends who did anything creative turned into puppets. I know that’s harsh, but they started saying it was quaint, what we were doing.

Read the full article in Interview magazine

Grantland recommends THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

It was a strange coincidence that I finished The Dream of Doctor Bantam on the same day that I saw The Master. Both Jeanne Thornton’s debut novel and P.T. Anderson’s latest film feature Scientology-like cults wrapped around unconventional love stories. There is also something common between the disturbed, restless spirit of Joaquin Phoenix’s Freddie Quell and Thornton’s central character, Julie Thatch, a hardened teenager whose sense of direction is shaken after her older sister’s suicide.

Read the full article in Grantland

Publishers Weekly reviews THE DREAM OF DOCTOR BANTAM

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

In this offbeat, emotionally raw debut, co-founder Thornton explores the tribulations of romance and rebellion, and the coming-of-age of 17-year-old Julie Thatch. Still reeling from her older sister’s suicide, Julie meets and falls for Patrice, a mercurial, fragile, oddly-innocent young woman striving to move up in the ranks of the Institute of Temporal Illusions, a cult led by the titular Dr. Bantam. Their relationship is a volatile, co-dependent, unstable thing, made worse by Patrice’s damaged psyche and Julie’s cynicism regarding the cult and life in general.

Read the full review in Publisher’s Weekly

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