OUTBOUND: Finding a Man, Sailing an Ocean

William Storandt, Author . Univ. of Wisconsin Press $22.95 (178p) ISBN 978-0-299-17460-6

Graced with an unusually apt title that embraces both the gay concept of coming out and the nautical term for leaving port, this compelling memoir weaves Storandt's tentative coming out during the late 1960s and 1970s with a jaunty account of an Atlantic Ocean crossing with his life partner, Brian, in the early 1980s. He writes with a charming mix of wry self-analysis, dryly witty travel commentary and narrative energy, particularly when it comes to a storm-tossed passage on the crossing to Scotland. The result is a stellar life story with broad appeal. Gay readers of a certain age who came out during the Vietnam War will identify with Storandt's charming, somewhat fumbling progress toward finding a gay lover, while younger gay readers should enjoy a cheerful history lesson. At the same time, fellow sailors will be caught up in the author's obvious passion for sailing and the sea, and will savor the book's nautical savvy and insight. Just as captivating are the quick sketches Storandt draws of his pregay, presailing life, first as a Juilliard-trained orchestral percussionist in New York (session work included banging tambourines in studio sessions for the Monkees), then as a geodesic-dome-dwelling Vermonter. Photos from the adventure generously enhance an already lively account. (Aug.)

Forecast:Storandt's engaging twist on the coming-out story and the credibility he's acquired as a 20-year contributor to Cruising World magazine effectively position this memoir as a book for both gay readers and sailors of any persuasion.

Reviewed on: 07/02/2001
Release date: 00/00/0000
Open Ebook - 177 pages - 978-0-299-17463-7
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