Friday, April 10, 2009

John Rechy: A midnight cowboy for Easter

John Rechy

A perfect Easter present for your friendly archbishop et al is John Rechy's City of Night published last month by Souvenir Press - it took decades for a British publisher to pick up his 1963 debut novel. (Though see comments) It was the first to delve into the gay sub-culture of America and find its heart.

Edmund White writes: "In that groundbreaking book he was... observing a whole new array of characters: drag queens, the still-beautiful boy living dangerously beyond his sell-by date, the guilt-ridden married men eaten up by desire and remorse, the vice cops and fag hags they're all there, many of them for the first time in American literature... this classic American novel."

Rechy wrote of his book: "City of Night began as a letter to a friend of mine after I had been to New Orleans. I wrote City of Night because they were my experiences hustling, and it began as a letter. I didn't think of it as a book." Gore Vidal hailed him as "one of the few original American writers of the last century."

A 2008 interview with Rechy by the scaredy cat Rupert Smith, click here. (Poor Rupert, so sexually bold, so craven in the company of "senior" journalists).

John Rechy site

To buy City of Night, click here.

5 comments:

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Madame Arcati said...

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Then I put it in as Japanese to English ...

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Despite the language barrier, one feels one knows what's being said.

drf said...

Decades? My UK Panther edition was published in 1965. The UK hardback was published in 1964 by MacGibbon & Kee. Let's not overdo the persecution complex.

best, Duncan Fallowell

Madame Arcati said...

Decades to reissue, then. Souvenir's making that claim and if it helps sell books I'm not bovvered.

Anonymous said...

Anything with an endorsement from God Vidal (and MA) is a must !

x veritas