Fiction of Gay Interest
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Plot / Content:
Background / Biography:
According to the jacket, "Melvin Dixon, a strong emerging voice in African-American literature, is the author of Trouble the Water, a first novel that won the 1989 Nilon Award for Excellence in Minority Fiction from the University of Colorado. His poetry and short stories have appeared in Poets for Life: 76 Poets Respond to AIDS, Breaking Ice and Men on Men 2, where "Red Leaves", the basis for this novel, first appeared.
A very brief Wikipedia article gives his dates as 1950 - 1992. He was one of many artists who died of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s.
"A brilliant exploration of ... a world as complex and painful, as challenging and loaded, as that created by James Baldwin in Another Country and Giovanni's Room ... Melvin Dixon's novel of furious urban life stands comfortably alongside those by James Purdy, John Rechy and Hubert Selby, Jr" (pre-publication jacket comment by Clarence Major, author of Such Was the Season)
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"Metro wasn't his real name, but I called him that. It was fall of 1975. He led me by the arm out of the dark, rotting warehouse and to the pier fronting West Street. The sharp, fresh air cut through the smell of mildew stuffing my nose. The shock of the bright October sun made me blink so hard I missed a step and stumbled against him. He reached to block my fall, lifting my fingers to his nose. I squeezed his shoulders, held tight for a moment. We wobbled like two dancing drunks, vying for balance. His hands were shaking with a chill. The salt flavor of his skin left my mouth and my lips dried. I could stand and breathe again."
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