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Deitch, Donna (b. 1945)  
page: 1  2  3  

Deitch is currently working on bringing the book Strange Piece of Paradise (2006) by her partner, Terri Jentz, to the screen. It tells the true story of a savage attack upon Jentz and her college roommate Shayna Weiss while they were on a biking and camping trip in Oregon in 1977. The assailant first ran his pick-up truck over the two young women as they slept in a tent and then bludgeoned them with an axe. As suddenly as it had begun, the attack ended, with the man driving away and leaving his victims for dead.

Although gravely hurt from numerous injuries, Jentz managed to go for help. Both she and Weiss eventually recovered, but only after many months of extensive medical treatment.

Upon returning to the scene of the crime some fifteen years later, Jentz learned that residents of the small nearby town of Redmond had almost immediately suspected a cowboy, then seventeen, who remained in the community, piling up a long criminal record for assaults, including domestic violence. No charges were ever filed against him for the attack, however, and the three-year statute of limitations on attempted murder that was the law in Oregon at the time has long since expired.

Jentz stated that she hoped that readers would not just focus on the story of the horrifically brutal crime but also think about "getting below the surface of why it happened."

"We need to teach men that it's unmanly to beat women," she stated. "We have to shift the paradigm."

Deitch and Jentz, life partners since the early 1990s, reside in Los Angeles.

Linda Rapp

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arts >> Overview:  American Television, Drama

American television has made significant strides in its portrayal of homosexuals in dramatic series and movies, but cable networks have been more daring than the "big three" broadcast networks.

arts >> Overview:  Documentary Film

The queer community has used documentary film to resurrect historical memory and to permit the marginalized to bear witness, as well as to build an image base that reflects our diversity and counters distorted representations.

arts >> Overview:  Film

Since cinema began, Hollywood has been fascinated with finding ways of representing homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Film Directors

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual film directors have been a vital creative presence in cinema since the medium's inception over one hundred years ago.

arts >> Overview:  Film Festivals

The queer film festival circuit came into its own in the early 1990s and has since burgeoned into a major international phenomenon.

arts >> Overview:  New Queer Cinema

Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.

literature >> Fierstein, Harvey

Award-winning Harvey Fierstein is one of the finest gay male playwrights currently working in the American theater.

arts >> Fierstein, Harvey

Actor Harvey Fierstein has had phenomenal success as both a performer and a playwright, and has been steadfastly committed to the cause of glbtq rights.

literature >> McNally, Terrence

Texas-reared Terrence McNally, whose first play, And Things That Go Bump in the Night, was one of the great scandals of the 1964 New York season, emerged in the 1990s as America's most important gay playwright since Tennessee Williams.

literature >> Rule, Jane

Though dealing forthrightly with lesbian and gay subjects, the novels and criticism of Jane Rule are deliberately nonpolitical in their commitment to diverse communities and a range of experiences.

arts >> Tomlin, Lily

Less well-known for being herself than for the many memorable personages she "becomes" during her performances, comedienne Lily Tomlin has long been a supporter of gay and lesbian rights, but only recently came out herself.

arts >> Vogel, Paula

In her work, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel has tackled difficult topics, including AIDS, incest, and prostitution.


"About SPARC--Social and Public Art Resource Center."

Appleblome, Peter. "'The Devil's Arithmetic': Memories Count." New York Times (March 28, 1999): TV3.

Canby, Vincent. "'Desert Hearts,' About Women in Love." New York Times (April 4, 1986): C8.

Marcus, Lydia. "Desert Heat." The Advocate 832 (February 27, 2001): 53.

Redding, Judith M., and Victoria A. Brownworth. Film Fatales: Independent Women Directors. Seattle: Seal Press, 1997.

Salamon, Julie. "Donna Deitch's Labor of Love." Wall Street Journal (April 24, 1986): 1.

Salem, Rob. "Stellar Cast Treks Far into Desert of the Heart." Toronto Star (April 11, 1986): D16.

Shistar, Gail. "A Gay Our Town." The Advocate 804 (February 1, 2000): 35.

"Six Filmmakers Receive $34,029 in Institute Awards." New York Times (April 27, 1972): 49.

Stratton, David. "Angel on My Shoulder." Variety 370.2 (February 23, 1998): 86.

Swartz, Shauna. "Terri Jentz on Her Strange Piece of Paradise." (June 12, 2006).


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Deitch, Donna  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2007  
    Date Last Updated February 16, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2007 glbtq, Inc.  


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