A Passionate Engagement

A Passionate Engagement

by Ken Harvey

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"A Passionate Engagement is both a love story and a story of political activism. In this remarkable memoir, Ken Harvey (award-winning author of If You Were With Me Everything Would Be All Right) reveals his own experience of coming out as a gay man, of meeting and falling in love with the man who would become his husband, and of growing into a social and political activist. Much of the story is filled with the kind of sensitive writing that Harvey demonstrated in his earlier work, but this book also shows a different side as he moves from the fictional to non-fictional, as he puts himself bluntly in the middle of the conflict.

As the book progresses, the reader moves with Harvey from outside observer to inside participant of the political struggle for same-sex marriage. His shift is significant, and a reader can't help but be moved along with him. This is a timely and important book, one that puts a truly human face onto this important social movement."

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159148186
Publisher: PBS Publications
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 463 KB

About the Author

Ken Harvey has recently completed a memoir ("A Passionate Engagement") about the same-sex battle in the United States that The Boston Sunday Globe hailed as "MOVING" and "POWERFUL." His collection of stories, "If You Were With Me Everything Would Be All Right," was the winner of the "Violet Quill Award" for best new gay fiction. It was also listed as "a book if note" by the Lambda Literary Review and was a #3 bestseller on the insideout.com book club. The book has been translated into Italian. Ken lives in Boston and Toronto.

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Passionate Engagement 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Ken Harvey has written a memoir that is a fine book on so many levels. The utter simplicity of retelling his childhood is as tender a story as any in the literature. Somehow Harvey manages to completely return to those days as a kid when he realized his attention and desires were not similar to those of other boys his age, his mortification when he progressed to gym class and faced the showers where his fellow students would mock his dreaded indication of arousal, his being a closeted gay man through school and teaching, dating and interacting with women successfully but without the passion he longed to experience, and finally his coming out process in gatherings and clubs where his innocence was magnified with his honesty with those with whom he came into contact - all of this is related in such a keenly written style that echoes of Salinger and Joyce haunt the pages. There is a section when he is describing his trip to Spain and his frustrating encounter with a German man that he sets aside space for adroit philosophizing. 'Above all, I've learned, kids value authenticity in adults. There have been other times when I was visible even though I didn't want to be, times when I didn't want to be visible to myself. I wanted to slip on the comfortable shoes of denial, even if those shoes eventually wear out at the sole, exposing your bare feet to the glass and sharp rocks of the burning pavement.' At last Harvey comes out to his fellow teachers only to win their support, goes on to date through the local newspaper ads until he encounters the man who will become his life partner Bruce - a man who comes complete with two children that the new couple will parent. From this point on through the rest of the book Harvey personalizes the events that lead up to the equal rights stance of same sex marriage, becoming an activist and remaining an activist to this day. He shares his beliefs, his trials with the ups and downs of governmental decisions and laws and takes us to the present moment when some states have sanctioned same sex marriage while others, like the supposedly emotionally advanced California, have failed to pass such measures as Proposition 8 just this year, and for once that sharing becomes fine literature. While other writers are producing pamphlets and books and blogs and demonstrations about the inequality that likely at some point in the future will seem as irresponsible as women's rights and racial equality now appear, Ken Harvey offers a different way to analyze the situation. By sharing the turmoil of his innocent but emotionally abusive childhood in such eloquent prose the reader is introduced to the issues of human rights on a wholly different level. We want to hear what this man has to say because he says it so well. This is a book to read for pleasure and a book that should well be mandatory for schools across the country. Ken Harvey is a very fine new voice. Grady Harp