21, 2011 - Author J. Lee Watton & Publisher Fay Jacobs to meet with
DADT activist and author Grethe Cammermeyer in Washington, DC to talk to
press about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and to celebrate the publication
Watton's memoir Out of Step.
up: Women's Week in Provincetown, Oct. 12-16..readings,. signings
and meet-ups with authors Fay Jacobs & J. Lee Watton, plus the work of
Andrea Myers, author of The Choosing.
Issue 81 |
Wrote Another Book,
For Frying Out Loud!
It’s not every day that I get to hijack the famous “What’s Up
With...” column, but
today is one of those days. Simply put, it’s time to celebrate Fay and her new
book, For Frying Out Loud, the completion of her trilogy on Rehoboth
“The first book covered many years from 1996-2003,” said Fay over
coffee this week at Arena’s in Lewes, “and it was a collection of my columns
from Letters from CAMP Rehoboth,
and the second book was centered around the story of Anyda
Marchant and Muriel Crawford, who started the Naiad Press and A&M Books.
This third book is a collection of my columns from 2006 until now, and included
the award-winning article I wrote for Delaware Beach Life, called The Gaying Of Rehoboth.”
post-trilogy future includes venturing out beyond Rehoboth to tell the stories of
“What we’re going to do now is go travel
in our RV,” Fay adds, “and over the years I’ve
heard from people all over who have read the books, and so we’re going to go
see what their lives are like in their towns!”
Fay takes pride in the fact that her books
have had a positive impact on everything from
Rehoboth tourism to the way women relate to their parents.
“One of the things that’s important to
me is that a lot of women have told me that they’ve
given my books to their parents, as a window into gay life as successful, career
people who travel and enjoy life,” Fay said. “Sometimes parents have these
terrible thoughts that their gay children are going to have horrible lives, and
this book says ‘Oh, no, no, no. Au contraire!’”
producer turned writer
television producer Stefani Deoul (Dresden
Files, Missing, Dead Zone) may be up in Canada producing the new television
series Haven for the SyFy network, but she’s flying back and forth to the
U.S. to promote her debut novel The
Carousel, published by A&M Books. (www.aandmbooks.com).
Rehoboth resident on and off over the last four years, Stefani has recently
enjoyed spending time, coffee cup in hand, hunched over her laptop, engaged in
her passion for writing. In addition to The
Carousel, Stefani has written for Curve
Magazine, Outdoor Delaware and
many others and has penned both short stories and film and television
novel tells of a road-weary and puzzling woman who arrives in a small town and
discovers an abandoned treasure of old wooden carousel horses. Her
quest to restore them begins a ripple of gossip, mystery, and a restorative
journey for the horses, herself, and the curious collection of townspeople
taking the tumultuous ride to grab the brass ring.
been an amazing personal journey and there is a parallel, an irony, which
isn’t lost on me,” says the author. “I set out to write a small story, a
story about a small town and the people who live there and the impact that these
relationships have, which ultimately became my story- moving to Rehoboth Beach
and finding the people and the friendships which have led me to this still
unbelievable moment. As different as my novel and my life are, it is in its
core, life imitating art and I am truly grateful.”
While Stefani is waiting for The Carousel
to take off on best seller lists (fingers crossed!), she’s even colder than
we’ve been here on the coast – she’s working in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “I
have my 40-below gear” she assures us. Her new series Haven is based on Stephen King’s short story, The Colorado Kid. Haven
begins when FBI Agent Audrey Parker arrives chasing a murderer and finds herself
confronting supernatural events while unexpected clues arise that tie her own
lost past to this mysterious town.
So it seems that Stefani likes the mystery genre. But don’t let her fool you. The
Carousel spins with elements of
romance, psychological intrigue and some fascinating
into the beautiful and historic world of the carved wooden carousels. Oh yes,
and how friendships and connections in a small town can be magical and
& News for Fried & True -Tales
from Rehoboth Beach
Book of the Year,
Non-Fiction - Humor
2008 National Federation of Press Women
of the Year - Non-fiction, Humor
2008 Delaware Press Association
Winner 2008 Golden
Crown Literary Society Award - best non-fiction!
Lambda Book Report:
by Jane van Ingen
columns... are laugh out loud funny and the best part is that Jacobs is
sincere...those who enjoyed Jacobs' first collection will not be disappointed
and those reading her for the first time will understand why she's such a
Windy City Times:
by Marie Kuda
This year, with the crudities of consumerism blowing at our doors and election
hype rattling our windows, what we really need is a good gay belly laugh to dump
the detritus and restore cheer. Fay Jacobs, longtime chronicler of goings-on in
published a new collection of her short pieces this year. Fried and True (
A&M Books, 2007, $17.00 ) succeeds her gut-busting As I Lay Frying ( 2004,
$15 ) , still in print. Partner and I read the dozens of short pieces in
Jacobs’ first book to each other, often laughing so hard we couldn’t read
further through cathartic tears. The older entrenched gay and lesbian colony on
Rehoboth has been adapting to the onslaught of the new wave of summer queers for
the last few decades; Jacobs chronicles the foibles and fun of daily life among
the bars, bodies and sandy beaches. Her essays, while often reflecting the
self-effacing humor we have long treasured in our community, can also be
poignant and thoughtful. Reflections on lesbian square dances or Roy Rogers hold
equal sway with recollections of Anyda Marchant and Muriel Crawford, founders of
Naiad Press ( Marchant wrote novels as Sarah Aldridge ) , Jacobs’ mentors, and
long-time doyennes of the Rehoboth summer colony. Partner has ordered 10 copies
of each to give our friends laughter for the holidays.
collection of newspaper columns and other jottings from Jacobs
is every bit as sardonic, witty, sarcastic, and insightful as her first
book, As I Lay Frying. With this difference: a thread of melancholy runs
through it. Many of the otherwise chortle-inducing essays center on the
lives of lesbian publishing pioneers Anyda Merchant - who wrote 14 novels as
Sarah Aldridge - and her partner, Muriel Crawford, cofounders with Barbara
Grier of Naiad Press. The couple, who died within months of each other, were by the time Jacobs met them the beloved (if occasionally imperious) grand
, running A&M Books -
which Jacobs inherited - out of their home. Fried & True is peppered
with columns about their lifelong
love, their vibrant weekly salons, their declining health, and their passing
- adding up to a moving mini-biography of two genuine lesbian heroes. The
mood lightens when Jacobs brings her easy comic touch to the everyday
travails and foibles of life in a small (and quite queer) resort town, but
her memories of Marchant and Crawford
give this book extra heart.
Books - Doubleday Book club
Jacobs’ memoir As I Lay Frying: A Rehoboth Beach Memoir kept us in
stitches and gave us the giggles. Now she takes us back to the Delaware
resort town that she calls home, recounting her close friendship with couple
Sarah Aldridge and Muriel Crawford. She keeps the laughs coming with her
entertaining slices of life in Rehoboth.
provocative to political, from heartwarming to hilarious, Fay’s written voice
invites readers in as friends, and she once again introduces us to the unique
. Much of the focus this time is on her close friendship with two of the most
famous locals, couple Sarah Aldridge and Muriel Crawford, whom Fay credits for
helping her become an “accidental publisher.”
Aldridge is the writer of 14 classic
novels, and with her partner, Muriel, founded The Naiad Press, the first and
most successful feminist publishing house in the country in the ’70s and
’80s. As Fay recounts her friendship with the two women, we get incredible
glimpses into the history of lesbian publishing. And, of course, we are
entertained by anecdotes and tales of the daily travails of life in
Reviewed by Anna Furtado, JustAboutWrite.com
Fried and True is a delightful second offering by Fay
Jacobs. Fay is the publisher at A&M Books of Rehoboth Beach, a position she
inherited from the legendary founders Anyda Marchant (Sarah Aldridge) and her
partner, Muriel Crawford. The book spans the timeframe between September 2003
and December 2006.
Filled with the antics in and around
, many of these stories are from Jacobs’ regular local column
called "Letters from
." "Letters" is filled with both hilarious and
thought provoking insights that are thoroughly entertaining. Interwoven with
her columns is the poignant tale of the women who left a publishing and
literary legacy behind.
Jacobs is a master of humor. Descriptions of her forays
into women’s golf are truly comical, as are her Schnauzer stories, primarily
about her own two boys, Moxie and Paddy. As she gives us her perspective on
health care issues, sharing with us her own search for HMO Heaven, the reader
may find herself smiling at the humor, but also nodding at the irony of the
situation we all find ourselves in these days. Reflections on politics and the
right wing gay agenda (don’t they have anything better to do—what with a war
on and all) will strike the reader similarly. Not afraid to reveal her own
vulnerabilities for a good laugh, Fay tells the story of a haphazard fall and
her broken nose. Don’t miss the sidesplitting story of Jacobs’ experience at
the fund-raiser atop a very high lifeguard chair. And then, there’s Mary
(“Traitor”) Cheney—but don’t get Fay started. Each chapter is a new
adventure that either tickles your funny bone to the marrow or allows you to
feel the sadness and loss of two great ladies from
, Anyda Marchant and Muriel Crawford, Jacobs’ mentors and role
In Fried and True, Jacobs takes us from
laugh-out-loud-moments with her marvelous sense of humor to misty-eyed moments
as she tells us about her relationship with Marchant and Crawford—and their
relationship to each other and their friends. The emotions portrayed in these
stories run the gamut. Every tale is masterfully told—this memorable memoir is
both pleasure and treasure.
for Fay Jacobs & As I Lay Frying
on author Fay Jacob’s hilarious dispatches from her lesbian life, all of which
appeared in Rehoboth Beach’s local newspaper, As I Lay Frying is
a treasure of a lesbian memoir is funny, touching—and real.
This is a true laugh riot, as Fay wittily takes on sexuality, politics,
relationships, and day-to-day dilemmas." - InsightOUT Book
Traveler, January 2005:
When Washington, D.C., journalist Fay Jacobs and her partner, Bonnie Quesenberry,
cruised in to Rehoboth Beach, Del., on their 27-foot motorboat, they never
imagined they'd eventually transition from regular visitors to seasoned locals.
Fay's unvarnished essays resonate with warmth, candid humor, and the unabashed
joy of finding one's place in "a huge slice of lesbiandom."
Hail the conquering weekender!
I Lay Frying— by Emily Lloyd, Lambda Book Report, May 2005
FAY’S BOOK! As I Lay Frying comprises
her wonderful 1995-2003 columns for Letters
from CAMP Rehoboth, recounting the adventures of Fay, her partner Bonnie,
their dogs, and their friends. I
haven’t met a more compelling cast of characters since reading the “Little
House” books when I was eight.
caught Fay’s columns on and off over the years.
They’re perfect as discrete pieces, as Fay has the good stand-up
comic’s flare for coming full circle—wrapping everything up neatly and
getting one last joke in before saying “Good night.”
They become a thing of power, though, when arranged back-to-back in book
form. You get a sense of the
passage of seasons, illnesses (and home improvement projects) suffered and moved
on from, growth happening…whether it be the growth of a person coming further
and further “out,” the growth of a family expanding to include new members
(schnauzers, mainly), the growth of a country passing through Y2K, Election
Heist 2000, 9/11, and war in Iraq, then bumping up against gay marriage…or the
growth on Fay’s middle finger (don’t ask; just read).
a funny girl and a smarty pants, and
something else: a generous writer. I love a lot of humor columnists, but there’s something
different about Fay—you never get the sense that she sat down to write with
the sole purpose of being funny.
She’s also different from most memoirists, in that her tone never
suggests self-importance or “Look at Me!”-ness.
When’s the last time you read a memoir and thought of the writer as
“generous” for letting you in on his or her life?
for a great turn of phrase (again, I’m one of ’em) will get giddy just
flipping through As I Lay Frying.
Fay’s worth reading for her similes alone: a computer freezes up like
“a lesbian in a roomful of Promise Keepers”; an animal rescue lady’s small
car is “packed, like a Rubik’s Cube, with a dozen cages.”
And though her essays will inevitably be referred to in Friends-episode
format (The One About the Scrapple Bust; The One About the Pair of Dykes), Fay
writes great titles, including “My Life as Ballast,” “Counting Blessings
Instead of Sheep,” and, for the column covering her and Bonnie’s wedding,
the jubilant and moving “We Did, We Did.”
this Book Review Hoo-ha, though, is less important than what I really want to
say about Fay’s book. It made me
happy. I think it will you, too.