Vanishing Rooms

Melvin Dixon, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-525-24965-8
The disturbing issues of racism and homophobia are forcefully examined in Dixon's provocative new novel (after Trouble the Water ), in which he skillfully illuminates the mixed emotions of distinctive urban characters whose lives are changed by tragedy. When a group of homophobic thugs in Manhattan brutally assaults and murders a Louisiana-born gay white man called Metro, his black lover and roommate, dancer Jesse Duran, begins to see New York as a cold battlefield of racial and sexual hostilities. Seeking solace, Jesse turns to a fellow dancer--a sensitive, self-doubting black woman named Ruella McPhee. The poetically charged narrative depicts Ruella's growing love for Jesse, as well as Jesse's conflicting feelings about his sexuality, and about Ruella and Metro. Utilizing three different voices in alternating chapters, Dixon creates convincing psychological characterizations. He captures a true feminine quality in Ruella's voice; Jesse's ruminations reveal a self-involved person looking for stability. The remaining voice is that of Lonny, a sexually confused 15-year-old who unwittingly contributes to the assault on Metro. This realistic portrait of pain and loss carries strong emotional resonance. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-452-26761-9
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-1-57344-123-0
Ebook - 213 pages - 978-1-57344-639-6
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