AND SAY HI TO JOYCE: America's First Gay Column Comes Out by Deb & Joyce Murdoch Price

AND SAY HI TO JOYCE: America's First Gay Column Comes Out

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two journalists chronicle their life as a lesbian couple and the trials and rewards of writing the first syndicated gay column. A collection of Price's Detroit News pieces interspersed with commentary by Murdoch (formerly of the Washington Post) on their history and background, the book details the birth of this column in 1992 and its effect on readers, its author, and her partner. Currently in syndication to more than 40 newspapers, the column addresses topics ranging from Emily Dickinson to gay rodeo and gays in the military. Price is at times an advice-giver, at times an information desk as she writes of coming out at her high school class reunion and lists for her readers a variety of resources from a gay radio station to a newsletter for older lesbians. Known to Price's readers from Palm Springs, Fla., to Rochester, N.Y., simply as ""Joyce,"" Murdoch moves from subject to coauthor as her voice confidently guides us through the column's shaky beginnings, commending the editors at the conservative News who stood by it. Reading Price's mail, she shares examples of the public's response to the column. ""Bonded tightly enough to star in a Super Glue commercial,"" the authors can be a bit overemphatic about the joys of partnership -- Price goes so far as to remind readers that ""someone can be happy single"" -- but their voices work separately here to form a cohesive whole, and their collaboration can't help but inspire. Most importantly, they urge Price's wide audience to become active against homophobia in simple ways (Price started a campaign for donations of books about gay issues to the public library in Sam Nunn's district) and gently encourage closeted gay men and women to come out. The Anna Quindlens of gay America: personal, committed, and engaging.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Doubleday