Touching From a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division

Deborah Curtis

From the jacket: “Touching From a Distance describes Ian Curtis’ life from his early teenage years to his premature death on the eve of Joy Division’s first American tour. It tells how, with a wife, child and impending international fame, he was seduced by the glory of an early grave. What were the reasons behind his fascination with death? Were his dark, brooding lyrics an artistic exorcism?” Who’s to say, especially since Deborah Curtis seems to have zero interest in her dead husband’s music, but this book certainly delivers as a classic rock-wife saga with a twist: Along with the usual obsessively rendered details of infidelity, betrayal and alcohol abuse, there are also descriptions of epileptic seizures, emotionally crippling bouts of morbidity, and suicide. Includes complete lists of recordings and gigs, as well as lyrics, both published and unpublished. MG

Publisher: Faber and Faber
Paperback: 213 pages

Billy Wilder in Hollywood

Maurice Zolotow

Bio of the legendary, cranky Kraut whose track record for quality films remains unparalleled. One of the most talented and evil people ever to work in Hollywood, this guy really could squeeze blood out of a stone! The epitome of the “sacred monster.” MG

Publisher: Limelight
Paperback: 396 pages

Step Right Up! I’m Gonna Scare the Pants Off America

William Castle

Essential autobiography of the eclectic genius who directed such unspeakably bizarre schlock films as The Tingler and Doctor Sardonicus, produced The Lady From Shanghai and Rosemary’s Baby, invented dozens of truly insane promotional gimmicks, and inspired John Waters to greatness. MG

Publisher: Pharos
Paperback: 264 pages

Beyond the Pits

Rae Shawn Stewart

Serious and sad tale of an ex-junkie/ho’ coming to terms with her impending death from AIDS. Fairly gut-wrenching. MG

Publisher: Holloway House
Paperback: 144 pages

Gigolos and Madames Bountiful: Illusions of Gender, Power and Intimacy

Adie Nelson and Barrie W. Robinson

Get inside the heads of women who pay for cock, and the men who sell it to them. Written with a light touch, but seriously considers the social, economic and emotional issues involved in sexual contracts where women hold the balance of power. MG

Publisher: University of Toronto
Paperback: 344 pages

Himpressions: The Blackwoman’s Guide to Pampering the Blackman

Valerie B. Shaw

Girlfriend, if you want to stop waiting to exhale and B-R-E-A-T-H-E already, this book is for you! Advice on handling insecurity, flirting successfully and vanquishing the dreaded FAAWABA (Ferocious African-American Woman With a Bad Attitude). Feminists, beware. MG

Publisher: HarperCollins
Paperback: 144 pages

Hollywood Lesbians

Boze Hadleigh

“I’m a dyke. So what? Big deal!” So decrees gin-riddled, moon-faced octogenarian actress Patsy Kelly, star of Rosemary’s Baby and The North Avenue Irregulars. The Big Deal is that the now-deceased Kelly had firsthand knowledge of what Tallulah Bankheaad liked to do with her pussy (she preferred frequent “pubic massage”), and anyone with that sort of information deserves at least the 20-page interview printed here, famous or not. The other subjects are Marjorie Main, Nancy Kulp, Barbara Stanwyck, Capucine, Dorothy Arzner, Edith Head, Sandy Dennis and Dame Judith Anderson. Actually, said lesbians don’t contribute as much firsthand gossip as one would like, but this is more than compensated for by the inclusion of bitchy testimony from first-class fishwives like Elsa Lanchester (apparently not a lesbian), and Paul Lynde (Lynde: “Agnes Moorehead? One of the all-time Hollywood dykes!”). And with the exception of frosty Miss Barbara Stanwyck, they all seem to have something interesting to say. Aside from Patsy Kelly, the best interviews here are with Marjorie Main (famous for her Ma Kettle character, a sort of butch Mother Hubbard) and the fabulously evil Dame Judith. Worth owning for the title alone. MG

Publisher: Barricade
Hardback: 320 pages

Hollywood Lolita: The Nymphette Syndrome in the Movies

Marianne Sinclair

“Exposes the truth behind the coy smiles, curls and bows—a heritage of wide-eyed innocence which left a trail of broken hearts, ruined careers and forgotten glory. The private lives and careers of more than 40 Hollywood Lolitas are explored, revealing how the changing tastes of nymphet-hungry audiences dictated a nymphet’s appeal—or downfall.” The message here is that pedophilia is the cornerstone of the movie business. Read up on how stars as diverse as Deanna Durbin, Jodie Foster and the Gish sisters built major careers by exploiting the movie audience’s hunger for pre-adolescent female coochie, usually with an encouraging stage mother/pimp lurking on the sidelines. MG

Publisher: Plexus
Paperback: 192 pages

Mae West: Empress of Sex

Maurice Leonard

Movies, money, mink, and men, men, men!!! Plus seances with Criswell, catfights with Jayne Mansfield and Raquel Welch, and more than a few regrets (she turned down Sunset Boulevard!). Here’s Mae revealed as a true iconoclast, world class fag-hag, and inventor of the sound bite. MG

Publisher: Birch Lane
Hardback: 424 pages

Rock‘n‘Roll Babylon

Gary Herman

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Babylon casts a jaundiced eye on the antics of such overblown stars as Axle Rose, Michael Jackson and Sting and those who became victims of their own lifestyles—Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Sid Vicious, Freddie Mercury and Kurt Cobain.” Plus great writing and plenty of dirty pictures! MG

Publisher: Plexus
Paperback: 224 pages