SOCIAL SCIENCES

Space Between: Explorations of Love, Sex, and Fluidity

Crown. Sept. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780525576730. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525576754. SOC SCI
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Younger star Tortorella brings their story of addiction, loss, family, love, and more to the page. As they move through their life pre-Hollywood and how celebrity impacted them, Tortella describes the descent into alcoholism and drug use, as well as continuing the sobriety journey, all while educating readers on the ever-evolving understanding of gender and sexuality. The author continuously touches on the idea of having been wrong in the past in regards to social justice and cultural appropriation, and discusses now becoming the educator. Although this is pattern is described in chapter after chapter, that beat of acknowledgement that they may be incorrect propels one to ask whether a lesson has, in fact, been learned. Tortorella notes that the work’s conceit is somewhat self-indulgent; a piece of performance art intended to aid them in their sobriety, but this is ultimately at odds with the goal of promoting gender and sexuality literacy. While Tortorella presents an interesting story, their own point of education and exploration seems to be lost on themselves.
VERDICT This memoir/performance piece should be popular with fans of Tortorella, but it’s less likely to have significant staying power as core LGBTQ writing

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