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Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay, and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York Paperback – January 1, 2009


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Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay, and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York + The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination + Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence (Perverse Modernities: A Series Edited by Jack Halberstam and Lisa Lowe)
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Editorial Reviews

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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Review

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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807079693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807079690
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,486,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ivan Figueroa on May 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Inspiring, a treasure, read it and tell your friends...Kai and his "collaborators" keep it real...in keeping it real the human experience is mirrored vividly
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By So. Calif book reader on January 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
While I really enjoyed the book, all the time I was reading it, I was trying to figure out exactly who the book was directed at-the readership. I'm still not sure why the book was written. But it was interesting reading about these young guys lives, yet even as the book ended, there was no conclusion to anything. If this is any indication of how young men of color lives are lived in the Big Apple then I wonder. Having homes for gay guys to live in just to get a roof under their heads is good, but these fellows just continue in their ways without assistance to improve. Without telling the one's name, there is a death that happens and it still baffles me that the young man does not have any remorse that we read of, for having let down his lover who was dying under the same roof, and he really could have stopped it I believe, had he responded as requested. To me, these guys seem rather all mixed up, no direction, no guidance, just allowed to think and do their own thing, and they seem so young to be making such decisions for their lives without influence which I think is really what they need, otherwise they wouldn't be in the situations they are.. Having everything they do, think or wonder about sanctioned or simply taken as their choice doesn't give people of their age the wisdom that comes from others who are older and maybe being able to give a different point of view or way of handling things. I would hope that most young people today want the opinions and guidance of their parents or those older, rather to be taken as adults and whatever they decide is fine. It would be scary for a young man to make big decisions and such pressures could be relieved by counting on elders having their back instead of patting their back.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 1, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this book was a good read i learn a lots like high hate crime is upstate and all around.
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