The University of Wisconsin Press

Gay & Lesbian Interest


A Letter to Harvey Milk
Short Stories
Lesléa Newman

"Each story is a gem, polished to brilliancy."
Southwest Book Review

This poignant and humorous collection of stories offers a fresh perspective on current issues of homosexuality and anti-Semitism and lends a voice to those experiencing growing pains and self-discovery. Newman's quirky Jewish characters go through all kinds of experiences, from an initial lesbian sexual encounter to being sequestered in a college apartment after paranoid Holocaust flashbacks. Her characters anxiously discover their lesbian identities while beginning to understand, and finally to embrace, their Jewish heritage. The title story, "A Letter to Harvey Milk," was the second-place finalist in the Raymond Carver Short Story Competition.

"These nine stories focus on an array of Jewish and lesbian concerns with a refreshing candor and lack of self-consciousness. Although pain plays a part in this volume, many of the tales celebrate with warmth and good humor the courageous maintenance of the Jewish tradition in radical relationships. . . . Contemporary characters confront both timely issues, like AIDS, and eternal ones, such as a lovers’ quarrel or a mother-daughter misunderstanding."
—Publishers Weekly

Leslea NewmanLesléa Newman is the author of fifty books including the pioneering work Heather Has Two Mommies. Many of her books concern themselves with lesbian identity and Jewish identity, as well as current topics such as AIDS, eating disorders, and sexual abuse. Her literary awards include Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists.

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Short Stories

Fall 2004

LC: 91-026346 PS
176 pp.  5 x 8.5 

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Paper $17.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-20574-4
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A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

Library of American Fiction

1988 paperback, Firebrand Books


A Letter to Harvey Milk, a new musical based on the title story of this volume, was a Richard Rodgers finalist and was selected as a Next Link Show of the New York Musical Festival! There were six performances at the Alice Griffin Theatre on West 42nd Street in Manhattan in July 2012!

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Updated February 18, 2013

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