I decided to start a new project and it has to do with these two books.
Let me tell y’all a story.
When I was a babby writer, I spent a lot of time working to emulate other writers. I did that thing where I copied lines of things, everything from bits of Hamlet to Henry Miller, Anne Rice. Lots of stuff.
I would often save up for the month and take my 20-25$ and I had a few favorite book stores. One of them was owned by an old gay couple, I would prowl around until I found the perfect brand new book. I was so shy, I went there regularly for months before I was brave enough to have a conversation with the owners.
When close to the bone came out, one of the gents got down a copy and told me to read it. I’d read Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl already and his name caught my eye.
If you were to point to something that changed everything about how I was learning how to write and what I as a young Black, freaked out, traumatized weirdo was allowed to write- that book changed it all.
I read it and reread it and it opened up a whole new world of subject, tone and expression.
So if you want to point to some people who set me on a path, this is them.
I’ll explain how jt leroy fits in somewhere else.
I had a really visceral emotional reaction to getting these. I haven’t read the antho since probably 1999.
I’ll post more, but um, this is gonna be a big thing.