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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 336 > THE BOOK GUY

THE BOOK GUY

What’s got Stephen Boylan turning the pages this month?

Ali Smith’s post-Brexit, Booker-shortlisted Autumn was a superb look at both a loving relationship and a country in flux. It was eviscerating about Britain in 2017, a country in the midst of an identity crisis, ruled by an amoral, indifferent Conservative Party, where doors are smeared with the words ‘Go Home’, where funding to universities is slashed, and where dismissive, dead-eyed officiousness rules. “When the state is not kind,” Smith wrote, “the people are fodder.”

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Our second annual sex issue is a hotbed of intimacy issues, as we explore the effect dating apps have had on modern gay relationships with scientist and author Giovanni Frazzetto. We meet some of the crack-team making sure we’re all in good sexual health at the Gay Men’s Health Service, while Avram Finkelstein, one of the men behind the iconic 1980s Silence = Death poster, talks art and AIDS activism with ACT UP’s Will St Leger. Anna Mac Carthy Adams gives a timely update on the complex situation same-sex parents currently face, despite the passing of the marriage referendum and children’s legislation, and we meet the man behind the return of Silver Stars, a moving musical about gay men who dared to be out and proud in Ireland of the 1980s.