This was a fun assignment.
Late last year, Xtra asked me if there was a favourite book of mine I’d like to write about for their Queer View Mirror series, which looks at works from the LGBTQ back catalogue from a personal lens. I immediately thought of Andrew Holleran’s 1978 novel, Dancer from the Dance.
No other work has had more of a profound impact on my writing. I re-read the book every two years because, 1) It’s such a delight to read—funny, heartfelt and wise, and 2) I hope to strengthen my craft, and tune my own writing to his pitch. In tribute, I named the two cats in The Family Way after its protagonists, Malone and Sutherland. If he ever reads that copy I sent him, I hope he’s not offended. Those characters are so important to me—as they would be to Paul—and I wanted to communicate that books like Dancer are also an essential part of our queer family.
You can read my essay here: The siren song of Andrew Holleran’s 1978 novel ‘Dancer from the Dance’