Sibling bonds, both literal and figurative, have had a crucial role in American writings of queer desire and identity. In nuanced and original readings, Denis Flannery demonstrates the centrality of fraternal and sororal love to queer strands of nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts from the elemental wildnesses of Moby-Dick to David Fincher's postmodern cinema; from the brutal and comic decorum of Henry James's major fiction to the elegiac memoir-writing of Jamaica Kincaid. Questions driving Flannery's exploration of sibling relations: How do we characterize the relationship between sibling love, queer possibility and the formal intensities of American writing? Why do so many American texts rely on the presence of sibling love to articulate queer desire? Why is brotherhood invoked as a positive value in announcements of United States national aspirations but used repeatedly and ominously in that nation's texts to herald a fall? Written with lyrical clarity and verve, On Sibling Love, Queer Attachment and American Writing is an important contribution to queer theory; to American studies; and to the study of culture, writing and affect.
'To bring siblings to gay attachments and queer theory to sibling relationships is inspirational. Each informs and shapes the other in Flannery's brilliant and innovative re-reading of American writing and culture'. Juliet Mitchell, University of Cambridge, UK
Contents: Preface. Part 1: Introduction; The monkey-rope; The appalling Mrs Luna: sibling love, queer attachment and Henry James's The Bostonians. Part 2: Cinematic siblings: Paris is Burning; Wolf-trapping: Cormac McCarthy, sibling love and the lupine queer; Sibling love, queer attachment, a fear of falling: David Fincher's The Game; Jamaica Kincaid and Chuck Palahniuk: AIDS, resurrection and recognition; Works cited; Index.