Broken Fever: Reflections of Gay Boyhood

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9780312301125: Broken Fever: Reflections of Gay Boyhood

What are the roots of personal identity? In this collection of essays, James Morrison searches for answers within the experiences and emotional reality of his own childhood in an attempt to pinpoint the beginnings of his own gay self-identity.

"Although from the vantage point of my present self, I do not remember a time in my life when I was not 'gay,' I know that the arrival at any avowed identity is always a complex process of affirmation and negation, refusal and identification." It is this process, and specifically the ways gay identity circulates before it is even spoken, that Morrison seeks to distill in specific experiences. From the beginnings of questioning his religion to exploring his first boyhood attraction, Morrison's experiences are chronicled honestly and compellingly.

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Review:

Insightful and consistently interesting, James Morrison's debut collection of personal essays hinges on his awareness of the countless influences on the young. Teasing out the larger implications of events and choices that must often have seemed slight at the time--such as his decision to play the violin, "in spite of the stigma of sissyhood"--he casts a fond but critical eye on his boyhood self and the gradual development of his gay identity. Although he was reasonably well-liked at school, Morrison's fate was sealed in fourth grade when a forgotten copy of Pinocchio slid out of his desk onto the floor, its binding breaking open and its pages scattering over the classroom floor: "I was as instinctively right, after this inadvertent apocalypse, to foresee doom as I had been, before, to keep the book a secret." A funny, astute observer of social nuances, and a wry commentator on the more obvious hierarchies and abuses of power, Morrison follows in the footsteps of Edmund White's (A Boy's Own Story) and--though with less spite--the master, Gore Vidal.--Regina Marler

About the Author:

James Morrison is an Associate Professor of Film and English at North Carolina State University. He is the author of Passport to Hollywood: Hollywood Films, European Directors, and his work has been widely published in anthologies, magazines, and journals. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Morrison, James
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (2002)
ISBN 10: 031230112X ISBN 13: 9780312301125
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James Morrison
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (2002)
ISBN 10: 031230112X ISBN 13: 9780312301125
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