Sixteen and One Half

James Levin
James lEVIN , English

The first person narrator, an openly gay young man from Iowa in the 21st century takes a summer job in New York City working with gay seniors and discovers he had a distant gay relative who lived in the 1940s.Over a period of years, he learns about another gay relative who lived in the nineteen sixties and another who is about 16 1/2 years older than he. The lives of the four men, all separated by half a generation, allow him to reconstruct a history of how gay men’s lives changed over the last 66 years. The narrator, who describes himself as queer, has been “out” to everyone since puberty. He defies almost every gay stereotype and has the support of his liberal parents. His gradual reconsruction of his lives of his gay relatives in the past coincides with his own personal development. By the end of the novel, he has a job, a boyfriend and a good idea of what it meant to be gay in past generations

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