The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon

Tom Spanbauer, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $21.95 (355p) ISBN 978-0-87113-468-4
Haunting and earthy, this deeply felt tale of love and loss is told by Shed, a half-breed bisexual Indian. In the 1880s, Shed, only a boy, is raped at gunpoint by the man who then murders his mother; he is then raised by Ida Richilieu--prostitute, mayor of Excellent, Idaho, proprietress of a hotel/whorehouse painted pink. Under Ida's tutelage, Shed becomes a berdache , or holy male prostitute, and makes love to resident hooker Alma Hatch, a former Bible saleswoman. Leaving home to seek the meaning of his Indian name, he becomes friend and lover of Montana rancher Dellwood Barker, who converses with the moon and may well be his father. Returning to Idaho, the two men join Ida and Alma in an odd extended family involving various sexual liaisons. Then the four black Wisdom brothers come to town: after Ida defends them against racist Mormons, ensuing events cause Dellwood to lose his marbles, Ida to lose her legs and Shed to lose his innocence as he discovers his true identity. Spanbauer ( Far Away Places ) fuses raunchy dialogue, pathos, local color, heartbreak and a serious investigation of racism in this stunning narrative. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-06-097497-8
Hardcover - 978-1-888348-03-3
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-8021-3663-3
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