From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Wright (Soldiers of Freedom
) evokes the passage to gay identity for three young men of color in this impressionistic, often disjointed account. The narrative juxtaposes vignettes from the lives—particularly the sexual lives—of Manny, a 14-year-old Brooklynite of Puerto Rican and Jamaican heritage who had leadership skills so natural he was all but unable to control them; Julius, a 22-year-old African-American transplanted from north Florida to New York who is equally capable of stunning achievement and devastating self-destruction; and Carlos, a 25-year-old Puerto Rican who is a caretaker by nature. These are gracefully written, sympathetic profiles, but they are only loosely tied together by the young men's overlap at an informal shelter for queer youth in East New York, Brooklyn. Additionally, Wright's brief historical background— of East New York, Puerto Rico, Greenwich Village and the house ball scene, as well as of theories of homosexuality and reference to diverse statistical studies—reveal that he has done his homework, but this reportage fragments, more than it supports, the already tenuous structure. Wright brings Manny's, Julius's and Carlos's dilemmas, confusion and curiosity to light, but not into sharp focus. (Jan.)
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Drifting Toward Love
is social commentary at its very best. . . . As compelling a page-turner as the tensest thriller and as emotionally rich as the sweetest love story. Kai Wright lets the bravery, resilience, and creativity of these teenagers shine through every page. The hardships they face will make you angry; their heroism will inspire you. —John D'Emilio, author of Lost Prophet
"These are gracefully written, sympathetic profiles . . . Additionally, Wright's brief historical background-of East New York, Puerto Rico, Greenwich Village and the house ball scene, as well as of theories of homosexuality and reference to diverse statistical studies-reveals that he has done his homework." —Publishers Weekly
"Blessed with the ability to connect emotional stories with factual information, Kai Wright creates an artistic and humanizing portrayal of self-realization that draws the reader into an often unseen and underexposed community." —Keith Boykin, author of Beyond the Down Low
"An intimate, at times heart-wrenching look at three young gay men of color who struggle to find a place-a bed to sleep in as well as a scene that allows them to be themselves without fear." —Beth Greenfield, Time Out New York
"The respect Wright feels for his subjects shines through. An important book about an often-marginalized group." —Kirkus Reviews