MediaMonday for July 9, 2012: The Future of American Fiction, an Interview with John Brandon, Flavorpill, July 3, 2012.
Western culture can no longer hide in the closet pretending homosexuality doesn’t exist, is curable, or will fade with age. This week in #litchat we’re discussing novels and memoirs which feature gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters. On Wednesday #litchat welcome’s Everett Maroon, author of the memoir, Bumbling into Body Hair. Friday’s guest host is Jeffrey Sharlach, author of Running in Bed.
Everett Maroon was born female and named Jenifer. As a female, he came out gay in 1990 while an undergrad at Syracuse University. Not just a lesbian, but a butch lesbian fond of food, cats and lipstick. As the years passed, so did his identification with his female gender. Bumbling into Body Hair is his funny, insightful and often painful journey through the process of a sex change. For Maroon, coming out as gay was no surprise to his family; the closet he’d hidden behind had a transparent door. His transition from female to male, however, was like coming out of a completely new closet with a door no one had seen behind. Maroon writes with both wit and grace, holding reader’s hands through the pain, while jabbing them with hilarious pokes at his own expense.
Everett Maroon is a memoirist, pop culture commentator, and speculative fiction writer. He has a B.A. in English from Syracuse University and went through an English literature master’s program there. He is the author of Bumbling into Body Hair, published by Booktrope. Everett writes about writing and living in the Northwest at He has written for Bitch Magazine, GayYA.org, I Fry Mine in Butter, RH RealityCheck, and Remedy Quarterly. He will be writing for Original Plumbing on popular culture and trans civil rights. He has had short stories published by SPLIT Quarterly, Twisted Dreams Magazine, and forthcoming from Topside Press (October 2012). Everett lives in Walla Walla, Washington, with his wife and baby son. He is originally from Hightstown, New Jersey.
Running in Bed is Jeffrey Sharlach’s semi-biographical novel of gay New York just prior to and during the emergence of AIDS. Where Allan Gurganus’s Plays Well With Others is literary, rich with metaphor and subtext, Sharlach’s Running in Bed is straight forward and endearingly brutal about himself and the epidemic that would wipe out nearly every gay man he knew in the course of a few years. Sharlach takes us through New York’s Gay Yellow Pages during his poignant self-acceptance, then into his sexual awakening of one-night-stands as he seeks a companion to share his life with. When he finds that partner in the gorgeous, former rent boy Tommy, readers see the tragedy ahead that naive and trusting Josh refuses to acknowledge. As our society becomes more tolerant and even accepting to GLBT concerns, we will look back at such books as Running in Bed for cultural reminders of the bad old days.
Jeffrey Sharlach attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (B.S.J., 1974) and then the New York University School of Law (J.D., 1977). He never practiced law, but migrated into public relations with several prominent firms before founding the JeffreyGroup in 1993. He came out as a gay man at 24 shortly after beginning work at his first full time job following graduation in 1977. He was living in New York’s Greenwich Village, still basking in the golden glow of the post Stonewall decade before the darkness of AIDS descended. His early single years were spent in the heyday of disco and clubs like Studio 54 and The Saint. It was at a club, The Last Resort on First Avenue that that he met his first partner, Ken Williams, a social worker, in 1981 and they were together until Ken’s death in 1994. Running in Bed is Sharlach’s first novel.
Follow Jeffrey Sharlach on Twitter: @RunningInBed.