|About the Book|
Jack Fritscher is a best-selling and highly acclaimed novelist, historian, and magazine journalist whose Some Dance to Remember and Gay San Francisco are heritage landmarks in gay literature. Along with fellow authors Chuck Palahniuk, MichaelMoreJack Fritscher is a best-selling and highly acclaimed novelist, historian, and magazine journalist whose Some Dance to Remember and Gay San Francisco are heritage landmarks in gay literature. Along with fellow authors Chuck Palahniuk, Michael Cunningham, Armistead Maupin, Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, and Felice Picano, Fritscher—who is the eldest of the group,—has widened and shaped the liminal diversity of the gay literary canon. Stonewall surveys his fifty-year career capturing the character, dialogue, and nuance of the gay culture he loves. According to Willie Walker, founder of the GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco, “Fritscher is a prolific writer who since the late 1960s has helped document the gay world and the changes it has undergone.”In this new collection, Fritscher rolls out nine excellently crafted short stories written over a forty-year career showcasing gay people, gay places, and gay events from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake in “Dear Benny” through the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion up to Y2K in “Mrs. Dalloway Went That-A-Way.”In stories of memories and truths told with an almost psychic feeling for the way we are, Fritscher’s use of the omniscient narrator’s voice inflects his stories with humor, irony, and drama. As a prose stylist, he is a marvelously talented writer and a tuneful wordsmith whose joyful use of language surprises and delights the reader. His stories rhyme with the gay archetype. The title story, taking place in the last hour of the “Last Pre-Historic Gay Period”—sixty minutes before the NYPD raided the Stonewall bar!—is a classic screwball comedy with dialogue to die for. “Stonewall is pitch-perfect.” —Thomas Long, editor, Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, Associate Professor-in-Residence, University of Connecticut.The nine stories, set between 1906 to 1999, stretch from Greenwich Village bars to Midwest movie palaces and to Alaska cruise ships via San Francisco teeming with gay-immigrant refugees from the 1970s culture wars. In the way the fast-talking “Stonewall” memorializes Christopher Street, three West Coast stories form a “Castro Street Trilogy.”o “Last Tango on Castro Street” is a comedy about the early days of Gay Gentrification and sexual identity in San Francisco (adapted by the author into play Coming Attractions: Kweenasheba for San Francisco’s Yonkers Production Company).o “18th and Castro” confronts themes of the birth of gay lib, coming out, blindness, guilt, and racism- its pace reads with all the suspense of Alfred Hitchcock directing a psychological thriller film about fear and fantasy on Castro Street four years after the Stonewall revolution.o “B-Movie on Castro Street,” with its old-school blues for “the man that got away” skins down the exquisite freedom of the 1979 street-scene heyday with the opening line: “Lover trouble. Just like Bette Davis.”While “Dear Benny” is a Valentine of boys in love, its opposite story, the existential “The Unseen Hand in the Lavender Light,” tracks a young boy, abandoned at the Bee Hive café, who comes out during World War II in the dark Apollo movie theater where, lit only by the light of the projector, he tries to grow up as the 1950s become the1960s. “The Story Knife” is the shipboard tale of a dedicated priest who discovers (not all to his dismay) that temptation has turned him into a sex-tourist beguiled by a cabin boy from Genoa.In “Mrs. Dalloway Went That-A-Way,” his touching story of eldercare and gay marriage, he teases out Michael Cunningham’s The Hours and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway into a tender love story.