Alex Jeffers Safe as Houses

ISBN 13: 9781590211236

Safe as Houses

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9781590211236: Safe as Houses

''A gay novel about family values'' (Edmund White), Safe as Houses is the story of Allen Pasztory and his family -- the family he was born to and the family he has stumbled into and embraced. His loving parents, raised in the inhumane surroundings of a state school for the deaf. His sister, bilingual like himself, pursuing ordinariness as if it were possible, and her son Kit, disowned by his father. Allen's husband in all but name, brave, solid, scared, Jeremy; Jeremy's ex-wife Ruth, involved despite her best intentions; and their son, Toby, precocious and ferociously loyal. Ill and likely to die before his time, Allen tells himself the stories he needs to survive, stories that may explain his life to the boys he's raised, for ''your life is never only your own story, and what you don't know for sure you must invent, using all the clues you can gather.''

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About the Author:

Alex Jeffers has also published Do You Remember Tulum?, a novella in the form of a love letter, and many shorter works of contemporary and historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. He lives in Rhode Island and is currently working on an as yet untitled novel about the transition to democratic government of the imaginary, fifth-smallest nation in Europe.

From Library Journal:

First novelist Jeffers controls his language to such a degree that background details-flowers, tastes, and scents-accent every scene of this domestic drama. This is a Bildungsroman with a terrible twist: the narrator is dying of AIDS. Allen Pasztory, son of deaf, Hungarian immigrant parents (who are hence twice removed from discourse in the United States), grows up in the ethnicity of the nonhearing. His long-term relationship with artist and illustrator Jeremy Kent involves Jeremy's beloved son, Toby; the extended family of Toby's mother and her lover, Candace; Allen's nephew; and a host of familial irritation, though nothing serious enough to make any of the characters completely reject someone related. Allen's and Jeremy's devotion to each other is the linchpin of this tangled world; by the middle of the story, the bleak landscape of AIDS surrounds them and then envelops Allen, whose own illness progresses until he nears the end. Nothing exciting happens in this book, but Jeffers is first-rate in his ability to portray nurturing growth amid looming tragedy and to engage the reader's interest in each character. Recommended for most collections.
Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Alex Jeffers
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