The editor tells us how many submissions were received--many times the number printed. After reading the book, I would be glad to have taken the rejects. The ones that were accepted for this book are arty in the extreme. None of the characters seem real. They seem forced, designed in some creative writing class, and not humans like any I know. The situations likewise are unreal.
Publishers Weekly, 1988-11-25 Freelance critic Jurrist meets his goal of assembling an ethnically and geographically diverse group of writers (including a black and natives of Arkansas and Chile), but most of these descriptions of gay love are riddled with cliches. There is a gay version of ``true romance'' (``He wore a bathrobe open enough to revealyesthe most perfect body in the world''), a gay nautical ghost story with vampire overtones (the narrator encounters a ``handsome youth . . . draped with long strands of kelp'') and a prurient riff on masturbation (a young man seeks to achieve climax by making an obscene telephone call to a priest, while his grandfather waits impatiently to use the phone). Occasionally a story reaches a higher plane (one moving tale recounts the platonic relationship between a woman who is unlucky in love and her gay friend who is dying of AIDS) but even then the prose has an amateurish quality (``AIDS, this ominous stranger, had cast its shadow into the bright light of a life so full of red peppers''). (Jan.)
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