Jodi Picoult talks up new lesbian-themed book tonight on Mombian

The lesbian mom blogsite Mombian posted today that big time author Jodi Picoult (My Sister’s Keeper, 19 Minutes) has gone Lisa Cholodenko-like on her newest book Sing You Home. The story details the account of a lesbian couple striving to have a child. OK, so it’s not quite The Kids are All Right, but maybe there’s a trend brewing of lesbi-parenting and mainstream audiences. First it was girl-on-girl kissing, now it’s mom-on-mom nurturing that intrigues audiences.

Her website calls it a multimedia experience. The book includes a CD of music and spoken word to accompany the story. There’s even a trailer for the book. Now we just have to wait for the movie. Unfortunately, her book tour doesn’t stop in Dallas. At least not with the current itinerary.

But you can listen to Picoult tonight as she appears on Mombian’s podcast to talk up the book. This is what they say:

I’m very excited to invite you to a special event here at Mombian: a live, streaming interview and chat tonight with #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult about her latest novel, Sing You Home, the story of a lesbian couple and their attempts to have a child.

I’ll have a fuller review coming up in my Mombian newspaper column soon, so I’ll say little here except that I do recommend it, not least because Picoult avoids the clichéed “search for a donor” plot of most stories about lesbians trying to get pregnant. Instead, she takes a different approach, giving us a tale that deftly blends the personal and political. The book also includes a CD of original songs with words by Picoult and music by Ellen Wilber, who will be performing on the Webcast.

Join us here at Mombian tonight, Monday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. EST for the Webcast, part of the Literary Salon Series of Picoult’s publisher, Atria Books. The interview, moderated by book reviewer Bethanne Patrick, will be broadcast from an event at New York City’s Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel to celebrate the novel’s release. There will be a chat window going, too, so you can share your own questions and comments.

That’s 6 p.m. our time.

—  Rich Lopez

Richard Chamberlain advises actors to not come out, claims he came out in 2003. Oh pu-leese!

Richard Chamberlain

In an interview in the Advocate this week, Richard Chamberlain talked about the danger for young leading man-type actors who come out.

He’s right about one thing. Hollywood is still very closeted despite Will & Grace, Modern Family or the show he’s now appearing on, Brothers & Sisters. The article says he came out in 2003.

Chamberlain was one of the biggest teen heartthrobs of the early 1960s when he played the title role on Dr. Kildare, the debonnaire young doctor on one of TV’s first medical shows.

In the 1970s, I was working in a store on 5th Avenue in New York City. By then, black-and-white television shows were long forgotten. TV Land and Nick at Night hadn’t been thought of. Cable was mostly for places that had no other TV reception.

Chamberlain was a regular customer in our store. He always shopped with his boyfriend. No one in the store thought anything about it. Chamberlain was gay. Everyone knew it. He was just a friendly former TV star shopping with his boyfriend. There was no secret and no one really cared.

So when he advises actors not to come out just as he didn’t, he’s really just fooling himself. When he “came out” in 2003, about as many people were surprised by the announcement as when Ricky Martin announced earlier this year that he was gay. Will people be equally shocked by an announcement from Jodie Foster?

Although everyone has a right to privacy, if someone is living his life pretty openly, he shouldn’t be shocked or annoyed that people know he’s gay. In fact, he’s fooling himself if he thinks people didn’t.

He may have only done the big Advocate interview in 2003, but everyone he came in contact with knew he was gay since his Dr. Kildare days. And that includes the people at studios who were hiring him. I knew him in the mid-70s.  His sexual orientation didn’t prevent him from getting the biggest role in his career when he starred in The Thornbirds in the early ’80s.

—  David Taffet