Quantcast
The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Reviews — “The Fan Who Knew Too Much” by Anthony Heilbut

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 5:00 am | Updated: 5:39 pm, Tue Apr 22, 2014.

The Fan Who Knew Too Much: The Secret Closets of American Culture by Anthony Heilbut, Soft Skull Press, 354 pages

Despite his professed atheism, author Anthony Heilbut found refuge in the redemptive message of African American gospel music. In his impeccably researched collection of essays The Fan Who Knew Too Much: The Secret Closets of American Culture, Heilbut writes “I love gospel music without believing a word of it.” Before Cher and Lady Gaga, there were the original divas: Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward, and Marion Williams. Sporting colorful robes and sky-high bouffants, their domain wasn’t the concert hall or the disco but the church. The role of these women — and the gay men who loved them — in American music and culture constitutes the bulk of Heilbut’s book, which makes the fascinating argument that early-20th-century American black churches, particularly of the Pentecostal persuasion, were not just places of worship; they also served as safe havens for gay men and women who contended with economic struggle and racial discrimination, along with the stigma of homosexuality.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 5 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 5 free articles, or you can get complete access to the online edition for $2.49 a week. If you need help, please contact our office at 505-986-3010 You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
  • 2 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 3 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. and please turn off caps lock.
  • 4 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Welcome to the discussion.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Settings

FOLLOW US

Click here for book talks & lectures
Advertisement