This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
When one of his wealthy, elderly lovers dies, leaving him a sizeable inheritance, Jack Shuttleworth--a middle-aged drag queen traveling in a gypsy caravan in Northern England in the summer of 1915--finds himself the target of his dead lover's sister
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The haunting tale of a middle-aged drag queen caught in England at the advent of WW I, by a British poet and author of two previous novels who is only now making his American debut--a grievous oversight in light of this luminous and intelligent prose. Jack Shuttleworth never knew his mother, though he envisioned her often enough as a tearful young actress who tossed her illegitimate infant out the window of a slow-moving train, rather than murder him as a less warmhearted woman might. Jack is found beside the tracks by villagers in northern England and raised in a local workhouse, but his feminine good looks lead to an apprenticeship in the weaving mills instead of down in the coal pits with the men. As a nine-year-old, he soon runs away to work in a nearby inn, where he finds his m‚tier in the performance of comic female impersonations in that bawdy establishment's weekend variety shows. Longing to please his audiences yet terrified by their disdain, Jack shuttles between ecstasy and despair as he struggles to establish his identity as a self-created woman, while a secondary career as mistress to two ``antiques''--elderly gentlemen who keep him--offers keen and amusing insight into the reality of being female in turn-of-the-century England. As WW I begins warming up across the English Channel, Jack finds himself widowed by his favorite keeper (who rechristened him ``Camellia Snow''), cast out by the man's sister, and forced to wander in a gypsy caravan among England's northern villages, a now-aging transvestite, aimless vagabond, and tragicomic victim of his tumultuous age. Marvelously original--the work of a wise and stimulating mind. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Jack Shuttleworth, a.k.a. Camellia Snow, is an aging transvestite living in turn-of-the century England. He has escaped detection by acquiring eccentric, wealthy protectors and by performing as a drag queen in music hall reviews. He tells his story in the form of a memoir addressed to Garrick Dodds, one of his "antiques," whose sudden death has brought about rumors of their "unnatural acts." As he flees across northern England in a gypsy caravan, Jack recounts his dismal childhood, his feeble attempts at heterosexual relations, the joys and agonies of sexual ambiguity, and his unrequited, unconsummated love for Dodds. Interspersed with his insider's insights into life as a female are realistic descriptions of the harsh effects of World War I and industrialization on class structure in Yorkshire society. Characterization and dialog suffer from the novel's diary framework, but Jack's acute observations of the continuing conflict between his male and female selves is honest, funny, and ultimately moving. Recommended.
- Jacqueline Adams, Carroll Cty. P.L. Westminster, Md.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1991. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0671723448
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1991. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0671723448