Gay literature has long had a tough time having to account for itself, if for no other reason than the general publics reluctance to read past the first word of that phrase. Nevertheless, Bram is one of (gay) literatures best; one writer in a long line of writers who have not only artfully mined the subtle complexities of love, but also challenged the stolid social orthodoxies surrounding it.
Im a fan of talking animals. Not the benign Mr. Eds of the world, but more like the monkeys and mice of Kafka, the goldfish of Etgar Kerets dark and magical What, of This Goldfish, Would You Wish? and the super sunny piglet of Babe (both movies) (seriously). What I mean to say here is the animal represented in possession of a complex human consciousness is about as uncanny as it getsas familiar, as it is alienand when done especially well can deepen our understanding of humanity.
Last month, my wife and I went with family to Wyoming, where we stayed in a wooden cabin fronted by a tall wide deck, offering a perfect natural picture: the rocky peaks of the Teton Range, the long grasses and grounds between here and there, and a high blue sky all swollen with mountain-sized clouds made of white feathers. A fat brown moose took a nap in our yard.
Peter Wheelwright is now officially a Renaissance man, a real triple threat. This is not to say hes a song-and-dance man. Then again it seems there is nothing the man cannot do.
Bill and I met at an uptown café for lunch, like we often do, to talk about the novel, and, for the first time in years, I was at a loss for words.
For any computer user the opening sentence in Jordan Castros compact, brilliant, and very funny debut novel The Novelist is determinedly accurate and not a little uncanny: I opened my laptop, still waiting for my morning tea to steep, and tried to type my password three times rapidly before getting it right, my waking fingers clicking with the determination of a machine. It is those clicking fingers and that particular machine I find slightly unsettling, a quiet but bracing nudge that a user might be as machine as its computer.
I like opening sentences, paragraphs, and pages, especially those that seem to contain inexplicably all things that follow. Whole novels lying dormant on a single page that, with a turn, spring forth like a minor Big Bang, or one of those giant sequoia trees from an incredible tiny seed.