cover image Friends and Lovers: 2gay Men Write about the Families They Create

Friends and Lovers: 2gay Men Write about the Families They Create

Various. Dutton Books, $22.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-525-93858-3

Preston, who died of AIDS-related illness in 1994, and Lowenthal, a freelance writer who contributed to Preston's Flesh and the Word series, have fashioned an absorbing, fresh and unpredictable collection of essays that explore the alternative ``families'' gay men create. The book is the third in another series--Preston also edited Hometowns: Gay Men Write About Where They Belong and A Member of the Family: Gay Men Write About Their Families. The better essays move beyond the trappings of upscale gay culture (a preoccupation limiting Eric Latsky's Fire Island reminiscences and activist-writer Michael Bronski's valentine to a Boston bar). Michael L., in retreat from a family ``addicted to normal,'' finds solace among the straight and gay members of his Alcoholics Anonymous group, the ``good parent.'' Novelist Christopher Bram wittily describes his fleeting but intense collaboration with friends in making a movie short. Randy Boyd--black, 30-plus, HIV-positive--movingly recounts his friendship with a 19-year-old, straight Los Angeles Hispanic. Jesse Monteagudo, a Latino converting to Judaism, finds his new faith, more than his sexuality, the defining factor of his life. (May)