Hometowns: Gay Men Write about Where They Belong

Hometowns: Gay Men Write about Where They Belong

by John Preston

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Less about geography than the need to belong, these essays by 28 gay writers about their sense of home elucidate the adolescent disenfranchisement of gay males. Many of the writers migrated from ``little towns that were on the way to somewhere else,'' as George S. Snyder observes in ``North East, Pennsylvania'' to larger urban communities where, writes Philip Gambone in ``Wakefield, Massachusetts,'' they can ``put together lives and families in new and different ways.'' Stephen Saylor's need to give his own small town a pseudonym (``Amethyst, Texas'') stands as a paradigm of the discomforts of gay identity. Locations range from cliched gay meccas to the prefabricated uranium processing town of Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the ethnic ghettos of Mexican Gardenland in Sacramento and Cuban Little Miami, where, for writers of ethnic or religious minorities, being gay only compounds their lack of entitlement. These thoughtful, moving recollections about coming home rather than coming out offer readers guidance and affirmation. BOMC and QPB selections. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Believing that ``the context within which we grow up helps determine how we see the world,'' Preston asked 28 gay writers to consider their hometowns, either their birthplace, or the place they've chosen to live as adults. Among the wide-ranging essays are Michael Nava's recollection of his family dynamics in the poor Mexican community of Gardenland, Sacramento, California; Harlan Greene's bittersweet reminiscence of growing up Jewish in Charleston, South Carolina; and Lev Raphael's piece on establishing a home with his lover in Okemos, Michigan. Illustrating an increase over the last 30 years in the options of how and where gay men choose to live, these consistently powerful writings, poignantly personal, achieve a universality in their themes of alienation and community.-- James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.20(d)

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