The Torturer's Wife

Overview

“Glave is a gifted stylist . . . blessed with ambition, his own voice and an impressive willingness to dissect how individuals actually think and behave.”—The New York Times Book Review

Thomas Glave, known for his stylistic brio, expands and deepens his lyrical experimentation in stories that focus—explicitly and allegorically—on the horrors of despotic dictatorships, terror, anti-gay violence, the weight of memory, secret fetishes, erotic ...

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The Torturer's Wife

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Overview

“Glave is a gifted stylist . . . blessed with ambition, his own voice and an impressive willingness to dissect how individuals actually think and behave.”—The New York Times Book Review

Thomas Glave, known for his stylistic brio, expands and deepens his lyrical experimentation in stories that focus—explicitly and allegorically—on the horrors of despotic dictatorships, terror, anti-gay violence, the weight of memory, secret fetishes, erotic longing, desire, and intimacy.

Thomas Glave is the author of Whose Song? and Other Stories, the essay collection Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent (winner of a 2005 Lambda Literary Award), and is editor of the anthology Our Caribbean:A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles.  He is the 2008-2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of  Technology.

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Editorial Reviews

Ronald Cummings
In many ways the experience of the dreamers, their inscrutable relationship with the dream-text, is akin to the experience of the reader of this collection. Stories often take on the texture of dreamscapes: enigmatic, elusive, difficult to decode.
The Caribbean Review of Books
Publishers Weekly

Glave's second collection is a disquieting, graphic, semiexperimental compendium examining violence and ignorance in and out of wartime. After opening with a contemporary relationship drama, Glave makes the jarring transition to armed conflicts, invasion and genocide. What most unifies these works is what's left unsaid-secrets are a constant, and there are virtually no names. Glave's style, full of interruptions, ellipses, unconventional text treatments and poemlike breaks, sends each story whirling thickly toward its end: in the title story, a woman called "She" is haunted by grotesque nightmares of dismembered body parts raining on her house and garden, after discovering her high-ranking husband's wartime atrocities. In the allegorical "Milk/Sea; Sentience," the dreams of a sleeping village of women heal war's wounds. "Between" takes a step back to focus on a couple, telling the story of two racist gay men in an interracial relationship; cleverly, Glave refers to both as "one of them." Laced with grisly details, this daring but uneven collection may not find a wide audience, but makes an intriguing experiment in post-postmodern war fiction. (Nov.)

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Bookforum
Thomas Glave, who has been compared to fellow O. Henry Award winner Richard Wright, returns with his second collection of short fiction, THE TORTURER'S WIFE. In passionate, disquieting prose, Glave bears eloquent witness to human traumas both large and small.
The Advocate
In May, Glave stood up at a Caribbean literary festival and bravely criticized antigay remarks made by the Jamaican prime minister. Now he delivers a story collection focusing on the redemption of desire amid violence and homophobia.
The Kenyon Review
In "The Torturer's Wife," Thomas Glave has reproduced Lady Macbeth's descent into murder and madness. Set in a modern paradise controlled by terror, people disappear during midnight flights over the ocean, while a charismatic military leader parades his stunningly lovely wife through mansions and banquets. This is a story that, once read, will replay itself in your nightmares forever.
The Gay & Lesbian Review
Thomas Glave has emerged as a unique author within GLBT letters, and his latest collection of short stories, The Torturer's Wife, stands to solidify his reputation. Indeed, while many of the books marketed to a gay readership rely on facile themes, Glave bravely defies the usual commercial interests by dealing with difficult subjects clothed in experimental prose.
—Eduardo Febles
AfterElton.com
Short story collections are as good as their authors, as is the case with these three books. Lambda Award-winning author Thomas Glave followed his first collection (Whose Song? and Other Stories) with an even better set in The Torturer's Wife, a group of violent and disturbing but nonetheless compelling tales.
—Jesse Monteagudo
The Seattle Gay News
Few of the nine short stories in Glave's second collection are explicitly Queer. But his themes are universal: the trauma of haunting memories, the puzzle of erotic longing, the intersection of intimacy and desire, the gnawing disease of unacknowledged racism, the parallel horrors of war and anti-Gay violence. . . Glave's daringly experimental but eloquent prose style, often elliptical and interspersed with lines of poetry, is a challenge. But a deep, attentive reading will yield exciting literary rewards.
—Richard Labonte
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872864665
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,516,068
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Glave was born in the Bronx and grew up there and in Kingston, Jamaica. His work has earned many honors, including an O. Henry Prize and a Fulbright fellowship to Jamaica. His fiction and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and he is the editor of two anthologies of gay and lesbian writing.
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