The Gay Nineties: An Anthology of Contemporary Gay Fiction

Phil Willkie, Author, Greg Baysans, Editor Crossing Press $10.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-89594-472-6
Despite this collection's impressive scope, the quality of writing varies, and many of the stories are sentimental or preachy. Among the best contributions is ``Baseball in July,'' in which Patrick Hoctel sensitively captures the fine tensions in a family when Paul brings his lover home. Lucas Dedrick's delicate and haunting ``The Beach'' focuses on a man who kidnaps his AIDS-afflicted lover from the stale-aired hospice for a few hours of sand and sun. In ``Flying Low,'' Tom McKague conjures a set of vivid characters--including an ironic English teacher and a confused young man named Angel Scarafino--with snappy prose and bracing humor. Louie Crew offers the most convincing, though still sentimental, coming-of-age story, ``Ben's Eyes,'' which follows a young boy's awakening to sensuality through his admiration of an older cousin in rural Georgia. Altogether less satisfying is Walter Rico Burrell's ``Rites of Passage,'' a melodramatic and gruesome portrait of a child who not only suffers his drunken father's anger but is molested by a neighboring reverend. Willkie and Baysans are the editors of the gay men's literary quarterly the James White Review. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-89594-473-3
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