Everything I Have Is Blue: Short Fiction by Working-Class Men about More-or-Less Gay Life

Everything I Have Is Blue: Short Fiction by Working-Class Men about More-or-Less Gay Life

by Wendell Ricketts



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780974638898
Publisher: Suspect Thoughts Press
Publication date: 06/28/2005
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.69(d)

What People are Saying About This

Jaime Manrique

"A very large percentage of gay literature produced in the United States is written by middle-class white men for middle-class white readers. There is a homogeneity to gay writing that reflects how, in our supposedly classless, multicultural society, issues of class and color are seldom worthy subject matter. If gays are �The Other� in our predominantly heterosexist society, blue collar people and racial minorities (often one and the same) are �The Others� within the gay community-a margin within the margin. The edgy, surprising stories in Everything I Have Is Blue are a tonic: they make an important contribution in terms of bringing to our attention characters and themes we seldom see explored in gay contemporary fiction."
editor of Besame Mucho: New Gay Latino Fiction

D. Traver Scott

"Finally! A gay story collection 100% free from scenes of Jeremy and Chad having tiffs by the Fire Island hot tub. Gay fiction needs books like Wendell Ricketts� Everything I Have is Blue-and it needs them bad. Strapped to myths of upward mobility and disposable income, gay men are desperately short on books addressing working-class experiences. Thankfully this book steps up to the plate, serving up fiesty, sharp stories that stretch and challenge stagnant notions of class, masculinity, and gay identity."
author of One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Minnie Bruce Pratt

"This book gives us what no contemporary TV program, movie, or magazine has even come close to-the tender, angry, funny emotional innards of the embattled daily life of working-class gay men. These could be the stories of the guys on the corner in my neighborhood-or yours!"
author of S/He

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Everything I Have Is Blue: Short Fiction by Working-Class Men about More-or-Less Gay Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
blakefraina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For me, the theme of this very intriguing book can be found in editor Wendell Ricketts's story "Raspberry Pie." Regarding his posh, patrician ex-lover across the lunch table, the narrator's only desire is to make him understand that, "I am not like you." Fortunately for readers, Ricketts, unlike the protagonist of his story, doesn't plan to drag us out to his favourite splatter films to prove his point. Instead he has given us this fascinating, diverse and refreshingly unique short fiction anthology in order to blow apart many of the tired stereotypes of gay men that persist in Western culture. The struggling protagonists of these stories are acutely aware, not only of their place in the social strata, but of their status as outsiders. They remark on more privileged men that surround them sometimes with frustration and contempt, as in the Rickett's story, sometimes with envy and desire, like the anonymous Harvard cutie sporting Brooks Brothers and Bass Weejuns on the MTA in John Gilgun's "Cream," or merely with simple bewilderment, as with the outreach worker whose green polo shirt "...looked as if it'd never seen a stain," in Rick Laurent Feely's "Skins." But even though their working class origins are plainly evident most of them occupy an uncomfortable grey area in between the two worlds, for it is with an equal degree of detachment they regard their own families and the environments they grew up in. Fathers are often belching, farting brutes firmly planted in front of the TV with beers in hand, while mothers are ineffectual, chain smoking, church-ladies. Even in a story where the narrator and his boyfriend are unconditionally embraced by a warm, loving family (the lovely, winsome holiday tale, "My Special Friend" by Christopher Lord) the author still takes pains to describe the orange and brown crocheted afghan draping the sofa, the twin Barcaloungers, the beanbag ashtrays and a collection of ceramic chickens in the kitchen. In this way, it seems as if they are saying, "But I am not like you, either." Most of the men in these stories are transplants to major cities or metropolitan areas - Portland, Baltimore, Toronto, New Orleans, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Some are in college or recent graduates, others newly employed or recently promoted. And all of them, with several notable exceptions (like the trucker in Timothy Anderson's hilarious "Hooters, Tooters and the Big Dog") appear to be trying, with varying degrees of success, to transcend their roots while still rejecting the stereotypical lifestyle that the media insistently sells as the gay ideal. And that's the beauty of this book. The characters refuse to be pigeonholed. They come across as living, breathing individuals and thus are the strong suit in most of the stories. I highly recommend this book to readers of gay fiction who are seeking a unique perspective and some terrifically original characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great anthology of short stories, plus an essay by the editor. Some of the stories may be better than others or more appealing to your personal tastes, but each one of them has something to say about the way class and sexuality intermix. This book is more than just short stories, though, it's a bunch of working class writers responding to stereotypes and consumerist images that don't apply to them--and to a lot of us! I read a lot of queer fiction and many of these stories really spoke to me in a way a lot of gay ficiton doesn't. I enjoy those other books, but they aren't about my life - they're about some Hollywoodesque fantasy of gay life. The essay at the end is a funny and sometimes sarcastic look at class and queer men, and I was glad to read it afterwards so I could have my own experience of the stories first. Highly recommended for anyone who's sick of the canned queer fiction and beach novels that keep getting shoved down our throats.