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Hard

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Overview


Taking place over the course of a single year, Hard periodically stops the action to delve into the sexual psyche of its main characters, exploring what motivates them, what turns them on, what defines their identity — what makes them hard. As Faggots explored the 1970s sexual universe of gay men in New York, Hard takes a serious look a generation later, taking readers into adult theaters, online chat rooms, bedrooms, and into the minds of the gay men who have sex there. But while Faggots was written before ...
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Overview


Taking place over the course of a single year, Hard periodically stops the action to delve into the sexual psyche of its main characters, exploring what motivates them, what turns them on, what defines their identity — what makes them hard. As Faggots explored the 1970s sexual universe of gay men in New York, Hard takes a serious look a generation later, taking readers into adult theaters, online chat rooms, bedrooms, and into the minds of the gay men who have sex there. But while Faggots was written before AIDS, the characters in Hard are very much affected by the epidemic: Frank lost his lover to the disease, Gene is HIV-positive, Aaron's lover unwittingly puts them both in danger, and Moe's sexual politics are deeply informed by AIDS. There's nobody in Hard who hasn't had his sexuality and politics shaped by the epidemic. There's also a motley crew of activists and sex partners, co-workers and family members, porn stars and B-list celebrities. The complex web of characters and subplots create a rich portrait of New York in the 1990s. And, like Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, Hard does it with edgy humor, snappy dialogue, and a scene-driven episodic structure.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sexual politics-both public and private-play out against the cityscape of mid-1990s Manhattan in Hoffman's absorbing year-in-the-life of a group of gay men. Amid a citywide crackdown on public sex venues, the editors of two gay newspapers take opposing sides. One editor, Moe Pearlman-the 26-year-old grad-school dropout at the heart of the novel-is a founding member of the Alliance to Save Sex (get it?) who participates in civil disobedience more Candace Bushnell than Thoreau: with promiscuous oral sex, he "tak[es] a stand on his knees." The other editor, Frank DeSoto, remembers the AIDS epidemic of the '80s-when he lost his lover- and sees the crackdown as a matter of public health. Humanizing the story are the characters occupying the space between: aspiring photographer Kevin, who makes ends meet turning an occasional trick, endangering both himself and his lover, Aaron; and Gene, who must learn to give up his only fetish-control-when he's diagnosed with HIV. Though shallow characters initially stunt the narrative, the larger issues of sexual rights and AIDS add depth to their voices, making this sexually explicit debut novel an intriguing exploration of politics and psyche. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786716609
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 0.76 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Wayne Hoffman

Although Hard is his first novel, Wayne Hoffman has been a writer and editor for 15 years. By day, he’s a journalist: He is currently managing editor of the Forward, America’s national Jewish newspaper. Previously, he was senior editor at Billboard, the bible of the music industry, and a founding editor of the New York Blade, the largest gay newspaper in the country. His cultural reporting has appeared in more than 50 publications, including the Washington Post, the Village Voice, The Nation, The Advocate, the Boston Phoenix, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

He has also worked on a number of books. He co-edited the award-winning anthology Policing Public Sex: Queer Politics and the Future of AIDS Activism (South End Press). He penned short stories and personal essays for several more collections, including an homage to his ex-lover in Boy Meets Boy (St. Martin’s), a tale about intergenerational sex in Generation Q (Alyson), a conversation with his mother in Mama’s Boy (Painted Leaf), and a story about Princess Diana in Bar Stories (Alyson). He is also a travel writer; in addition to contributing to several guides, he authored the 2003 book Fodor’s How to Take a Road Trip.

In his spare time, Wayne has marched with Queer Nation, lobbied Capitol Hill with the Human Rights Campaign Fund, and organized demonstrations with Sex Panic. He served as associate producer for the AIDS documentary “Our Brothers, Our Sons,” in which he also appeared. He modeled for the 1998 “Kissing” calendar by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In 1998, Wayne was named one of the country’s “Best and Brightest Under 30” by the Advocate, the national gay newsmagazine.

A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Wayne has lived in Greenwich Village for the past 10 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in social politics, and his master’s degree from New York University in American studies.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    Great read from a new author

    Hard is a complex story that revolves around the HIV/AIDS issues in NYC. The character development is such that you can form a picture of each character in your mind easily. The plot moves along at a nice pace, pulling the reader in more and more as the book progresses. The 'editor' fight between Moe and Frank is well involved and I personally can believe it happens in real life. The personal life issues struggles brought out related to me quite a bit, and again I feel this is very true to life. Sex, an important part of everyone's life - gay or straight, is a part of this book. Moe's penchant for the oral variety is a shared interest I have with this character. The relationship development between the characters is astounding. The burgeoning relationships remind me of my coming out days, and personal struggles with forming a bond with other men. All in all, this is a really entertaining book and I am anxious for the next novel by this author - same characters or different ones are fine with me. These days a good new author is HARD to find - Wayne Hoffman is on my read again list. Try Hard - you'll enjoy it!

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