Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Two Wives and Three Husbands

"Loud activists may command the news, but it is the everyday gay people living openly who bring about real change and acceptance."
My Two Wives and Three Husbands,
S. Stanley Gordon

Many present-day memoirs are dark and difficult to get through. They may be interesting, but let's face it, all that honesty can become rather dismal and depressing. I know that life is not always rosy, but I battle daily to retain a degree of optimism in my thinking and outlook, and I sometimes grow weary from reading about relentless misery and pain.

Although My Two Wives and Three Husbands by S. Stanley Gordon is candid, it is--whew!--also upbeat and positive. Published in 2011, the author wrote his book as he was approaching his eighty-eighth birthday. In this memoir, the author tells his life story, with more than a touch of humor and an infinitude of zest. The book chronicles the events in his life, including his career in optometry and as a theatrical producer in NY and London, and his marriages to two women and three men.

From a young age, even perhaps before he knew he was gay, the author thought that same sex marriage should be permissible. He openly discusses his feelings as a boy who realized that he was attracted to boys, and describes how he went from leading a double life to being honest about his sexual identity. Although the author struggled at times with his sexuality during a period when there was much less acceptance of gay people, ultimately the book conveys the author's great energy, happiness, and joie de vivre, as well as his strong belief in love and marriage. In fact, this book is primarily a story about love, both platonic and romantic. Despite the difficulties he encountered--and maybe to some extent because of them--the author seems truly grateful and content with his life. S. Stanley Gordon's zest for life is genuine and charming, and I read My Two Wives and Three Husbands in just a few sittings.

I've wanted to participate in Amanda's GLBT reading challenge since I first read about it, but it required a larger commitment than what I had time to read--until now. Thankfully, you're no longer required to read a certain number of books, and can join the challenge at any point during the year; it's become a reader-friendly challenge. The GLBT reading challenge was created by Amanda from The Zen Leaf in 2009, but is currently hosted by Christina from Reading Thru The Night, and co-hosted by Natazzz from For the roses. Next, I hope to read Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin for this challenge.

Special thanks to S. Stanley Gordon and Bostick Communications for sending me this book to review.

(For some reason, the comments to this post were lost while Blogger was not working. This is upsetting, and I hope they will be restored.)

Update, May 24: Yay! The lost comments have been restored.


  1. I can just imagine how difficult it would have been to be gay back then. This book sounds fascinating.

  2. This sounds like a great read! I know what you mean about memoirs sometimes being too depressing, although I mostly stay away from the relentlessly bleak ones.

  3. I am not much of a memoir reader, unless it is someone I've admired, such as Julie Andrews, I listened to her Memoir "Home" in audio. And yes, some areas are boring, but, listening to her read her memoir, made it very enjoyable.

  4. This sounds like an interesting memoir. I know what you mean, most memoirs are super depressing.

  5. This sounds like a really interesting book.

  6. I do like memoirs and this one sounds like an important story to be told. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  7. Thanks for posting about this. I will definitely add it to my TBR.

  8. This does sound like a very interesting book-thanks for sharing it with us

  9. Great review! I think you make a good point about how depressing some memoirs can actually be, and maybe that is the reason why I have shied away from reading so many these days. It is good to hear that this one does not fall into that trap and that it is filled with such spunk and life. I think this a a memoir that I would not mind checking out. Thanks, Suko, for sharing your perceptive thoughts on it with us!

  10. What an interesting sounding book! I don't read a lot of memoirs... as you point out they are often bleak... but this one sounds like something I would enjoy.

  11. Love the authors' comment. Appreciation and respect are attainable one way - they are earned. There are no short cuts. And gays who live and work openly and earnestly with others will earn it. Well said and very encouraging :)

  12. Rudy, thanks for posting a comment about the quote from the book. Ten other comments were unfortunately lost while Blogger was not working. They may or may not be restored.

  13. Giovanni' Room is FREAKIN' AMAZING.! I hope you enjoy it. :D


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