The Torturer's Wife
The Torturer's Wife





"An Ugly Lesson in Repression at Cambridge University"
Mar 22, 2012

Thomas Glave, a 2012 Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, discusses campus repression.

- Thomas Glave, The Chronicle

How We Adopted the Fourth of July: A Foreign Holiday
Jul 3, 2010

"'The American holiday,' that was how some of my Jamaican family in the U.S. and in Jamaica referred to the Fourth of July. Many years later, as a black child of immigrants from a so-called Third World country and one born and raised in the U.S., I would confront some of the profound ironies at the center of American 'independence' (independence for whom? would loom as a later question).

"But yes, July Fourth was their holiday, the Americans', of whichever color. In our American life, we observed it, as some of them did, with a backyard barbecue (in the years after my parents were able to afford a house in the Bronx), hot dogs and hamburgers."

- Thomas Glave, The New York Times

The Caribbean

The Caribbean Review of Books

"In many ways the experience of the dreamers, their inscrutable relationship with the dream-text, is akin to the experience of the reader of this collection. Stories often take on the texture of dreamscapes: enigmatic, elusive, difficult to decode."
—Ronald Cummings


Slideshow: theGrio's 15 LGBT leaders of tomorrow
Jun 9, 2010

"June is Gay Pride Month, a time to honor the accomplishments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Since the days of the Stonewall Riots, LGBT people of color have played a significant role in advancing many social justice issues." City Lights author Thomas Glaves of "The Torturer's Wife" makes theGrio's list of 15 LGBT Leaders of Tomorrow.

- Talia Whyte, theGrio

Jamaican "Native Son" Challenges Notions of Race and Sexuality
Feb 10, 2010

"In record time, Dr. Glave has become known for his erudite expressions concerning the intersection of race and sexuality. In one word, Glave is - brilliant.

While born in the United States in the Bronx, Glave comes from Jamaican parents and spent a considerable amount of his formative years on the tiny island. From his Rasta-like appearance to his sing-song patterns of speech, it is clear that Jamaica - its history and its people - remain imbedded in his spirit."

- D. Kevin McNeir, Footnotes Magazine

The Best LGBT Books of 2009: 56 Writers Select their Favorites
Dec 2, 2009

"Alexander Chee (Edinburgh): Two books stood out to me as my favorites in a field of groundbreaking, original works of LGBT fiction: Thomas Glave's The Torturer's Wife, and Alistair McCartney's The End of the World Book. The Torturer's Wife is a follow-up from one of our community's very best short story writers, and The End of the World Book is a triumphant debut from an important new writer. If you're tired of shop and fuck novels about pretty boys who fall for the wrong guy all the time, these might be for you."

- Band of Thebes

The Class of 2009
Nov 1, 2009

"With its nameless protagonists, unusual punctuation, poetic breaks, and graphic depictions of genocide and antigay violence, Glave's The Torturer’s Wife is about as far as you’ll get from a breezy beach read. Nonetheless, the Lambda Literary Award winner’s experimental short story collection—which tackles war, slavery, turbulent gay relationships, and HIV—contained some of 2009’s most compelling moments in queer literature. Glave (left) is only the second gay African American (after James Baldwin) to win the O. Henry Prize for short fiction."

- Out Magazine

Interview: Thomas Glave, author of The Torturer's Wife
Nov 5, 2009

"A few weeks ago, I was privileged to read and review a collection of short stories by noted author, Thomas Glave, called The Torturer's Wife. I was so enthralled by the depth and poetry of these remarkable, dark, stories that I tracked down the author and asked him to do an interview with me. He graciously agreed. The following is that interview from a truly remarkable writer..."

- Alan Chin, SF BLGT Literary Examiner

Being a Visible Man in the Age of President Obama
Oct 30, 2009

"I can't speak for other gay Black men, but I relate to Barack Obama very intensely as a Black male because that's what he is and that's what I am. And that's where my point of connection comes from.

The issues that affect gay Black men are inseparable from the issues that face Black people in the United States. Whether it's not having access to adequate health care, housing or a good education--all of these things are part of Black reality. Not just gay Black reality. However, HIV and AIDS prevention and education is an important issue for Black gay men. We need to be visible so we can be counted by our communities. That hasn't happened as much as it should."

- Thomas Glave, Essence

The Examiner

"Glave's prose is vibrant, and immediate. It carries the reader along as it delves deep into the grim places of the human mind. . . . Putting this book down, I felt I will go back at some point soon and reread, in order to more fully understand and appreciate this beautiful and intriguing look at post-postmodern war fiction." —Alan Chin


Podcast: Thomas Glave, reading from The Torturer's Wife
Oct 13, 2009

"Thomas Glave was born in the Bronx and grew up there and in Kingston, Jamaica. A 1993 Honors graduate of Bowdoin College and a graduate of Brown University, Glave traveled as a Fulbright Scholar to Jamaica, where he studied Jamaican historiography and Caribbean intellectual and literary traditions. While in Jamaica, Glave worked on issues of social justice, and helped found the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG). Thomas is currently a Professor at Binghamton University in New York.

This reading of excepts from his second collection of stories, The Torturer's Wife, was recorded in progress at the Resistencia Bookstore in Austin, TX, as a part of Fire & Ink III: The Cotillion."

- JW Richard, Mandrake Society Radio

The Kosmopolitan Online

"Glave's tales of desire, love, and fear during times of trauma simply should not be ignored. . . . The stories in this book are not pleasant, but they are important nevertheless. I would love to see Middle America give this book a try." —Martin Goffeney


The Gay & Lesbian Review

"Thomas Glave has emerged as a unique author within GLBT letters, and his latest collection of short stories, The Torturer's Wife, stands to solidify his reputation. Indeed, while many of the books marketed to a gay readership rely on facile themes, Glave bravely defies the usual commercial interests by dealing with difficult subjects clothed in experimental prose." —Eduardo Febles


The Seattle Gay News

"Few of the nine short stories in Glave's second collection are explicitly Queer. But his themes are universal: the trauma of haunting memories, the puzzle of erotic longing, the intersection of intimacy and desire, the gnawing disease of unacknowledged racism, the parallel horrors of war and anti-Gay violence. . . Glave's daringly experimental but eloquent prose style, often elliptical and interspersed with lines of poetry, is a challenge. But a deep, attentive reading will yield exciting literary rewards." —Richard Labonte


my first cranial orgasm
Aug 3, 2009

"I was able to hear this gay Jamaican writer named Thomas Glave read from his latest collection of short stories The Torturer's Wife at Women and Children's First in Andersonville. He had went on before Dorothy Allison for whom we had originally came to listen. I instantly fell in love with Glave's language and imagery and style. I have never heard anything like his sorcery before. Me being so ravenous for literature and the written word, I read The Torturer's Wife in one day. Read the whole thing again the next day. Then reread my favorite stories out of it again until I finally got Whose Song?- his first collection. From Whose Song? I became very attached o '-And Love Them' because the weight in it struck home (even though the seventeen other stories did also) that black men seem to be naturally hated. The deep seeded hate that beckons itself in the womb in the cells."

- Jsun, Little Violent Flowers Blog

AfterElton.com

"Short story collections are as good as their authors, as is the case with these three books. Lambda Award-winning author Thomas Glave followed his first collection (Whose Song? and Other Stories) with an even better set in The Torturer's Wife, a group of violent and disturbing but nonetheless compelling tales."

—Jesse Monteagudo


KPFT's Queer Voices
Apr 13, 2009
Interview with Thomas Glave on Houston's GLBT program Queer Voices. (2 hours) - KPFT, Houston

Bay Area Reporter

"Interruptions, run-on sentences, and unorthodox punctuation waltz with graphic, grisly descriptions and sudden bouts of poetry. Teeming with unnamed characters and secrets galore, Glave's collection impressively and collectively presents itself as a trembling sheath barely concealing the horror and dubious complexities of modern-day life as we know it."

—Jim Piechota


Spring Reading List
Mar 26, 2009

"The warmer weather has arrived, and with it comes a virtual garden of spring reading delights . . . The Torturer's Wife (City Lights) is the paperback edition of Thomas Glave's short-story collection."

- Gregg Shapiro, Bay Area Reporter

Thomas Glave on Miguels Vineyard with Miguel Sanchez
Mar 22, 2009

Thomas Glave, author of The Torturer's Wife, speaks on Miguels Vineyard with Miguel Sanchez. (60 minutes)

- Miguels Vineyard with Miguel Sanchez

The Shelf Talker
Mar 4, 2009

"Short story writer Thomas Glave caught our eye when two of our favorite bookstores (Hue-Man in Harlem and City Lights in San Francisco) went a-raving about his upcoming appearances. His second collection The Torturer's Wife, has been out since December and is, according to sources, 'disquieting, graphic, semi-experimental compendium examining violence and ignorance in and out of wartime.'

Good. With that title, anything less would have elicited a deserving yawn.

Mr.Glave's holding court in New York, San Francisco and St. Louis through March. We've never had the pleasure but, given his Vita and headshot, we're expecting much. He's already taken home an O. Henry award, NEA fellowship and a Village Voice 'Writer on The Verge' citation since 2000. Sartorially, the fella's working an array of dreadlocks not spotted since the demise of the Wailers.

We've about had it with all the lousy haircuts in literary circles and urge more authors to follow Mr. Glave's lead. In fact, name an author most in need of a dreadlocking and we'll post the results in next week's column.

I'll cast the first stone: Philip Roth."

- Kevin Smokler, The Huffington Post

Writers Respond: An Interview with Thomas Glave
Jan 7, 2009

"I've been following the writing of Thomas Glave, whose story, The Torturer's Wife, appears in the most recent Kenyon Review and absolutely floored me. Immediately after finishing this story, I searched for him online and found Whose Song? in The Barcelona Review. These two stories made me feel things as a writer that I hadn't felt in a long, long time, and I am grateful to Mr. Glave for reminding me of the power of language, the joy one feels when discovering a new favorite writer."

- Green City News

Thomas Glave's work inspires video
Nov 18, 2008
"The videographer writes:
'Tribute to the gay Jamaican poet's book Words to Our Now; I showed this at a presentation I gave at a conference as a supplemental music video interlude; as an example of the beautiful and convicting form of epideictic rhetoric that Glave employs. I got wonderful feedback from Mr. Glave on the video. I am glad he felt honored. His essays inspired me, may do the same for you-- '"
- Jamaica Land We GLBT

"The Torturer's Wife" by Thomas Glave
Nov 17, 2008
"Author of the acclaimed story collection Whose Song?, award-winning Thomas Glave is known for his stylistic brio and courageous explorations into the heavily mined territories of race and sexuality. Here he expands and deepens his lyrical experimentation in stories that focus—explicitly and allegorically—on the horrors of dictatorships, war, anti-gay violence, the weight of traumatized memory, secret fetishes, erotic longing, desire, and intimacy." - Geoffrey Philp's Blog Spot

On Innocence and Obscenity
Sep 18, 2008
"When does a piece of literature become obscene? That question – and the related question of book banning – suddenly seems to be back in the news, along with lipstick and pigs and the recipe for mooseburgers. But here's a different question: when does a piece of literature need to be obscene? When does the obscenity that surrounds us – lipstick on pigs, for example, as wars grind on and the world’s economy collapses – demand that the writer hold, as it were, a mirror up to nature, even in all its vileness?

I ask because it’s a question an editor has to wrestle with when s/he gets a story like Thomas Glave’s "The Torturer’s Wife," which appears in the fall issue of KR." - Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, Kenyon Review

Review of Our Caribbean on Asia & Pacific Writers Network
Jul 22, 2008
"If only I'd had Thomas Glave’s ground-breaking collection, Our Carribean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles to teach alongside Zami then. But thank Pele we had Zami and now have Glave's collection. Glave took on this massive task precisely because he lamented the lack of recognisable voices from his own survival as a Jamaican immigrant to the Bronx, USA. As he states 'this gathering - as it is titled, which makes its own contribution to an ever increasing conversation – is a book that I and others have been waiting for and have wanted all of our lives.' [Introduction].

I can state with conviction that Audre Lorde would certainly be proud of Glave’s collection." - Dr. Cathie Koa Dunsfold, Asia and Pacific Writers Network

Anthology Focuses on Gay Caribbean Life
Jun 26, 2008
" A new anthology gives voice to a part of the gay community that is sometimes seldom heard. Thomas Glave takes listeners through his unique collection material, featured in 'Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles.'" - NPR

James Baldwin
Jun 10, 2008
"Baldwin wrote his six novels, three plays and numerous essays directly out of his personal experience as a black, gay man in America. His fiery essays are masterpieces in the black protest tradition. In the figures of Rufus Scott (Another Country) and Leo Proudhammer (Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone) Baldwin created fragile characters shouldering the weight of what he saw as a cruel and oppressive world. Although hailed as a black protest writer, he defied expectation when he wrote Giovanni's Room, a brutally honest tale of homosexuality and self-loathing. It was rejected by his American publisher and only appeared when English publisher Michael Joseph agreed to issue it.

Now read on:
Toni Morrison's Sula and The Bluest Eye; Thomas Glave's Whose Song?" - Guardian UK

Publishers Weekly
"Glave's second collection is a disquieting, graphic, semiexperimental compendium examining violence and ignorance in and out of wartime. After opening with a contemporary relationship drama, Glave makes the jarring transition to armed conflicts, invasion and genocide. What most unifies these works is what's left unsaid—secrets are a constant, and there are virtually no names. Glave's style, full of interruptions, ellipses, unconventional text treatments and poemlike breaks, sends each story whirling thickly toward its end: in the title story, a woman called "She" is haunted by grotesque nightmares of dismembered body parts raining on her house and garden, after discovering her high-ranking husband's wartime atrocities. In the allegorical "Milk/Sea; Sentience," the dreams of a sleeping village of women heal war's wounds. . . . an intriguing experiment in post-postmodern war fiction. "

The Advocate

"In May, Glave stood up at a Caribbean literary festival and bravely criticized antigay remarks made by the Jamaican prime minister. Now he delivers a story collection focusing on the redemption of desire amid violence and homophobia."


Bookforum
"Thomas Glave, who has been compared to fellow O. Henry Award winner Richard Wright, returns with his second collection of short fiction, The Torturer's Wife. In passionate, disquieting prose, Glave bears eloquent witness to human traumas both large and small."

Chroma: A Queer Journal

"Glave's stories focus on characters who haven’t been allowed a voice or whose ability to speak has been silenced through death and the machinations of government and/or society. Though the subject matter is heavy, the author’s beautiful use of language gives meaning and substance to what are sometimes horrific events. More importantly, Glave bears witness to incidents often ignored just as he did in his collection of essays Words to Our Now. . . . Glave’s narratives seamlessly interweave components of speech with descriptions of place and the internal thoughts of the characters. His olfactory-driven prose give an immediacy to the time, location and physicality of his characters, making his stories come vibrantly alive. . . .  Identity is divided in order for the individual to cope with the extremity of emotion and maintain aspects of themselves they don’t want to lose. Glave employs radically diverse styles and structures to describe this process making his writing some of the most exciting and spirited I’ve read for a long time."

—Eric Karl Anderson


The Review Review

"In The Torturer's Wife, Thomas Glave has reproduced Lady Macbeth's descent into murder and madness. Set in a modern paradise controlled by terror, people disappear during midnight flights over the ocean, while a charismatic military leader parades his stunningly lovely wife through mansions and banquets. This is a story that, once read, will replay itself in your nightmares forever."
—Gail Dennehy


Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago: Calabash Podcast
May 28, 2008
"Caribbean Free Radio produces a podcast from Jamaica's Calabash International Literary Festival which includes...an interview with Jamaican writer Thomas Glave, who was quite vocal about the Prime Minister's  recent comments about there being no place for homosexuals in his Cabinet." - Janine Mendes-Franco, Global Voices Online

Glave Criticizes Jamaican Prime Minister at Calabash Festival
May 27, 2008
"Thomas Glave was the first reader at Jamaica's Calabash literary festival last Friday.  Before reading from his new book Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles, Glave bravely spoke out about recent anti-gay remarks made by Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding." - Duke University Press Blog

Highlight from Calabash: Thomas Glave on Bruce Golding
May 27, 2008
"In response to the latest episode of a Jamaican...embarassing himself and the rest of us by confusing nationalist sentiment with informed political discourse, Thomas Glave posted his statement at Calabash on the queer Caribbean listserv." - Thomas Glave, Long Bench

MIT names Glave visiting professor
May 1, 2008
"Award-winning author Thomas Glave, an associate professor of English at Binghamton, has been named a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor for 2008-09 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Glave received word of the appointment last month on the 40th anniversary of King's assassination. 'It feels extraordinarily profound—the prospect of teaching in a professorship named for Dr. King,' Glave said. 'I'm thinking a lot right now about history and my own connections to Dr. King's legacy. He really made it possible for us—meaning black people—to teach at these places. There was a time when it wouldn't have been possible. Many institutions, of course, still don't treat black professors as true professionals. In light of that fact, this professorship means even more to me both personally and professionally.'" - Inside BU