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Catalog Archive / Fall 2021

The Book of Casey Adair

“Beautiful and expansive. The Book of Casey Adair captures the tumult of the early 1980s, which set the stage for a new brand of queer activism. The way Ken Harvey tells Casey’s story gives the novel a bracing tenderness. I loved this book, and it will stay with me for a long time.”
—Jake Wolff, author of The History of Living Forever

In the fall of 1980, young Casey Adair begins a year of postgraduate theater research in Spain, then on the verge of a military coup. As he attends plays and dinner parties, visits gay bars, and becomes increasingly involved in protests, Casey’s correspondence reveals intimate confessions and new understandings. He falls in love with a man named Octavio, gets a role in a major theatrical production, and revels in the awakening of his own sexuality and social consciousness. Then, a visit from his college friend Poppy leads to an emotionally charged evening that changes their lives forever.

Three years later Casey is an educator in Boston, trying to balance finding his voice as an AIDS activist, dealing with an intolerant headmaster, and rebuilding a relationship with his daughter. As dear friends fall ill to the virus, he struggles to understand how his many identities—father, teacher, caretaker, dissident, lover, husband—can coexist. In a world that asks so much of us, what is our responsibility to others and ourselves?


Ken Harvey is the author of the memoir A Passionate Engagement and short story collection If You Were with Me Everything Would Be All Right, which won the Violet Quill Award for Best Gay Fiction of the Year.

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“An engaging, complex portrait of a young gay Everyman in search of himself, making mistakes many readers will doubtless recognize from their own lives. The novel’s striking intimacy often made me feel I was eavesdropping on an actual life as it was lived moment by bewildering moment.”
—Paul Russell, author of The Coming Storm

“A deftly crafted and emotionally revealing novel by an author with a genuine flair for narrative storytelling.”
Midwest Book Review

“A colorful, eventful, vividly written yet bittersweet whirlwind of emotional conflict, intensive introspection, and the kind of self-analysis many readers will easily relate to. This author-reader connection will seal the deal in creating a book that is memorable, relatable (particularly for readers who have lived through the AIDS epidemic), and resonant.”
The Bay Area Reporter

“This is quite simply a marvelous book. The spirit of Spain at a pivotal moment in its history shines through on every page, as does the LGBTQ community’s dawning awareness of the grave crisis it is about to face. Read it and weep for what it tells us about the passing of time and all we have lost.”



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The Book of Casey Adair: Cover showing a photo of a disco that has been recolored in holographic reds, purples, and greens. The title text spans across the page in striking white font.

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October 2021
LC: 2021008823 PS
240 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Paper $18.95
ISBN 9780299333546
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