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by Nick DiMartino - SGN contributing writer

Dunshee House is pleased to announce the launch of the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Book Club, a fresh, exciting social opportunity for lovers of gay literature in the Seattle area. Open to people from all walks of life-young, old, gay or straight-the purpose of the book club is to create a community of readers and give the solitary act of reading a gay social focus.

Stepping away from the traditional once-a-month format, beginning January 7th with Breakfast with Scot by Michael Downing, the book club will meet every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Dunshee House, on the corner of 17th East & East Thomas on Capitol Hill. Rather than the typical single meeting moving quickly over many topics, each novel will be discussed for four consecutive Wednesdays, allowing time to follow particular avenues of interest, explore the portrayal of gender roles, parenting, integrity, and the many other issues pertinent to living a healthy gay life today. People with busy schedules can choose whichever date is most convenient. More socially-available readers may choose to come every Wednesday.

Nick DiMartino, online book reviewer, author of three novels and over twenty plays, will facilitate the meetings. Since 2001, DiMartino has been hosting the book club at University Bookstore, selecting the best new novel of the month. Inspired by the recent visit to Seattle of the Dalai Lama, DiMartino decided to create a vehicle to share with the gay community the greatest joy of his life, resulting in Dunshee House's new, all-community weekly reading program, the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Book Club. "Reading can be lonely," said DiMartino. "Sharing opinions and reactions, hearing how others experience the same book, can be an eye-opening experience." The book club will provide a comfortable, safe place to exchange ideas and share perspectives. Brad Craft, one of Seattle's foremost literary historians, will give book club members the social, cultural and historical background in which each novel or memoir was created.

Each month's book will have four discussions, every Wednesday evening at 6. The first six selections have been announced. Future titles include works by Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, Jean Genet, Andre Gide, James Baldwin, Yukio Mishima, Dorothy Allison, Edmund White and Paul Monette.

DUNSHEE HOUSE 303 17th Avenue East Seattle, WA 98112