Sam Huber

  • Women on the Verge

    For many of its participants, the women’s liberation movement represented a saving break with an unremittingly bleak past. A switch flipped at the end of the 1960s, and the culture flooded with light. Where once there had been only darkness—Ladies’ Home Journal, back-alley abortions, MRS degrees—now there was feminism: Kate Millett made the cover of Time, Shirley Chisholm made the ballot, and young women picketed bridal fairs and beauty pageants that they might have attended a year before. In 1971, fiction writer Tillie Olsen remarked with awe that “this movement in three years has accumulated

  • Under the Skin

    FOR MANY OF ITS ADVOCATES throughout the 1990s and 2000s, gay marriage seemed to promise deliverance from gay politics itself. The mammoth engine of the marriage equality campaign hurtled toward a finish line of full legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples, after which everyone could finally head home, giddy and tearful, to husbands and wives. Andrew Sullivan, more honest about marriage equality’s conservative thrust than most of its architects, heralded its eventual achievement as the End of Queer History: Marriage, he wrote in 1998, “is, in fact, the only political and cultural and

  • Native Son

    The most striking scene in Who Killed My Father is also its most emblematic. The French novelist Édouard Louis revisits the memory six times in his brief new memoir-cum-polemic, sifting it obsessively as if for hidden information that the scene won’t yield. One evening in 2001, a preadolescent Édouard stages a performance for his parents and a large group of dinner guests. It’s standard proto-queer kid stuff: a now-dated pop song, fussy choreography, backup dancers conscripted from among the guests’ children, and the ringleader self-cast as front woman. The adults watch politely—all except É