Press kit for Setting the Lawn on Fire
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Setting the Lawn on Fire
Publication date September 2005
LC: 2005005441 PS
160 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN 0-299-21340-4 Cloth $21.95
"Indeed, this brilliant first novel is a tribute to the power of a first-class imagination to rethink what has become a venerable genrethe coming out novel. To my mind, this is the best gay debut novel I've read in quite a long time."Edmund White, Out
"The premise of this magnetic narrative is that consciousness is a sensory collage and that all biography is sexual biography. We meet Friedman's character in the chaotic impulses of early childhood, watch him gallop through the frustrated yearnings of adolescence and early manhood, and see him sacrificed to lust, adventure, and the market for sex. What finally emerges is a full-fledged human identity, the unmistakable proof that existence equals desire. Everything in this book is tinged with it, from the light on an Alaskan plain to sweat trickling across taut young skin. Friedman has discovered the magic link between libido and humanity, arousal and our taste for living, and he shares this with us elegantly, never losing his honesty, humility and respect for others."Bruce Benderson, author of The Romanian: Story of an Obsession and winner of France's Prix de Flore 2004
"Who would have thought there were still stories about coming of age and coming out that were waiting to be told in America? Lawns are not the only things blazing in Friedman's audacious novel; libraries, locker rooms, basketball courts, medical photography, and fishpacking plants are also on fire. So are all the places, bodies, and fantasies assembled, like a collage, in this memory-inspired piece of fiction."Thomas Waugh, author of Out/Lines
Reviews: [Reviews will be posted here when they are available.]
Mack Friedman is the author of Strapped for Cash: A History of American Hustler Culture. His essays have been featured at the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art and the Leslie-Lohman Gallery, and his performance art has been showcased at the Andy Warhol Museum. His stories have appeared in the anthologies Obsessed, Wonderlands, and Barnstorm. This is his first novel.
"The summer I turned twenty I fell in love with traveling and a boy named Sean. We lived in a tent made from plywood and pallets and stolen blue tarpaulin. We worked the same line in an Alaskan fish factory. We watched the river for biplanes and rock cod and swooping black cormorants. We climbed a mountain and stashed red wine in the snow. When we weren't working Sean would take off the only shirt he ever wore. He was a quiet mousy boy about five-five. His mother had recently killed herself. He never told us how. He had shiny white canines, thin black eyebrows, a small short nose, and long hazel eyes. His hair was fine and oily and dishwater blonde and flopped over his face so he had to wear a hairnet when he excised the skulls before the tops went on the cans."excerpt from Setting the Lawn on Fire
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This cover image can be downloaded and used in any web-based publicity for this book. For a 300 dpi version, click here.
This image can be downloaded and used in any web-based publicity for this book. For a 300 dpi version, click here.
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