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In Search of Pretty Young Black Men: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, December 27, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743497163
  • ASIN: B005UW1FXO
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,542,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Zane In Search of Pretty Young Black Men is an engaging novel that will have readers caught up from page one. Stanley Bennett Clay has a poetic way with words and the erotic scenes are as steamy as they come!

Tina Andrews screenwriter, producer of Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal A beautifully crafted, irreverent, sometimes wickedly funny look at love, sex, and desire among Southern California's black elite. A potent page turner that never fails to shock, surprise, and ultimately entertain.

G. B. Mann author of Low-Hanging Fruit A lust-laced hallelujah.

About the Author

Stanley Bennett Clay has received three NAACP Theatre Awards for

writing, directing, and coproducing the critically acclaimed play

Ritual, as well as a Pan African Film Festival Jury Award for the film

adaptation. The author of Diva and In Search of Pretty Young Black

Men, he lives in Los Angeles.

More About the Author

Stanley Bennett Clay received 3 NAACP Theatre Awards and 3 Drama-logue Awards for writing, co-producing and directing the stage play "Ritual." The film version, starring Clarence Williams III and Denise Nicholas, marked Clay's film writing/directorial debut and was voted The Jury Award at the 2000 Pan African Film Festival. He most recently wrote and directed the feature documentary "You Are Not Alone," an examination of depression among black gay men.

Clay produced on stage the GLAAD, L.A. Weekly, L.A. Times and NAACP Award-winning musical "Children of the Night" and the world premiere of James Graham Bronson's "Willie & Esther." That production received 2 L.A. Weekly Awards as Best Play and Best Ensemble Performance.

Clay wrote, directed, and composed "Street Nativity" (commissioned by the National Council of Negro Women for the Black Family Reunion Festival), wrote/directed the play "Lovers," (Theatre of Arts) directed west coast premieres of "Jonin'" at The Harmon Theatre (Drama-logue Award/Direction) and "The First Breeze of Summer" (Theatre of Arts). He directed the world premiere of James Earl Hardy's stage adaptation of his best-selling novel "B-Boy Blues." "B-Boy Blues" won the Audience Award at New York's Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, and is slated for a national tour and an Off-Broadway run in 2014.

Clay is the author of five novels, "Diva" (Fleming & Sons), "In Search Of Pretty Young Men"(Simon & Schuster/Atria Books), "Looker" (Simon & Schuster/Atria Books), "Aching For It" (Ellora's Cave Publishers) and Hollywood Flames" (Ellora's Cave Publishers]. "Search" won the 2004 N.Y. Hotep Society Book Award for Best Gay Novel. His sixth book "Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris" co-written with James Earl Hardy and Terrance Dean was released by Kensington Books in 2010.

Former Editor-In-Chief of Black Beat magazine and American Correspondent for London's Blues and Soul magazine, Clay published and edited SBC magazine for 10 years (1991-2001), at the time the most widely distributed periodical for the black LGBT community.

He starred, guest-starred, and/or has been featured in over 200 TV episodes, films and commercials, including "Good Times," "Cannonball," "Minstrel Man," "Man Friday" and "Cheers."

He received the NAACP Best Actor Image Award for his stage performance in the Inner City Cultural Center's production of "Anna Lucasta" and was nominated for the same award (and won another Drama-logue Award) for his performance in the Lafayette Players West's production of "Zooman and the Sign." Other stage performances include "Or" by Felton Perry (One Flight Up), "Sonata" by Bill Duke (Theatre of Arts), Albert Camus' "Caligula" (Zodiac Theatre) and "Six Pieces of Musical Broadway" (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion). Most recently, he starred in the Off-Broadway production of his latest play "Armstrong's Kid."

Clay is the first recipient of the African American Gay and Lesbian Cultural Alliance Outstanding Achievement Award (1990) and received Genre magazine's 1993 Role Model to the Gay Community's Lifeguard Award. He is the recipient of the International Black Writers of America's highest honor, The Edna Crutchfield Founder's Literary Achievement Award "In recognition of outstanding work as writer, publisher, producer and director of the written word." On August 18, 2007, he was awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award at the 5th Annual Black Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival in Oakland CA. and in 2010 was awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award by Indianapolis Black Gay Pride.

Born in Chicago IL, the second oldest of eight children, he lived in Los Angeles from 1963 to 2010. He currently resides in Manhattan New York.

Customer Reviews

The author is a very gifted writer.
J. Belfield
A very deep book that you won't put down until you have read the last page.
R. A Rippy
The sexual descriptions are graphic, but unnecessarily so.
L. D. Poston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Siluwé on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"A lust-laced hallelujah."

That's how G. B. Mann described the steamy novel, In Search of Pretty Young Black Men by award-winning filmmaker and playwright Stanley Bennett Clay. The quote, by the author of Low-Hanging Fruit, is on the back cover of the dust-jacket. I made a skeptical little sound at the magnificent, though extremely `authorly' quip-one carefully crafted to be repeated, and therefore, somewhat self-serving.

Why am I repeating it? Because after reading the book, I realize that Mr. Mann's four little words can't be bested. He hit the nail with this one ... dead center.

I took the provocatively titled tome on my birthday cruise and between peaceful moments staring at the sea, I was enraptured by this tale of Dorian Moore, "... a mysterious and seductive young man who provides comfort to the moneyed, the neglected, the lost, and the lonely in an elegant hilltop community in Southern California."

It was the title that drew me in, and I ordered it from Amazon without knowing a thing about Stanley Bennett Clay. Maybe because I've resigned myself to the fact that, in a way, my life has been a search for pretty young black men ever since I WAS one ... and also that, until the day I die, they'll have the heart-stopping ability to bring a smile to my face, a tingle to my nether-region, and make me play the biggest fool. Yeah. The good ones can.

As J and I sun-bathed and enjoyed the pleasant rocking of the ship (he was reading the hip debut by Blaire R. Poole ... Breathe), I peeked over my shades at the most pleasant sight. A real, live, pretty young black man (who'd only been old enough to drink for ten minutes, tops) sauntered by looking edible, dangerous and darkly Brazilian in his Speedo.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Maurice Williams on February 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"In Search of Pretty Young Black Men" depicts black bourgeois life in the factitious Los Angeles suburb of Baldwin Hills. As the story unfolds we learn of Maggie's marriage to Dr. Lamont Lester-Allegro. Lamont is the son of the most powerful man in Baldwin Hills. After a near fatal accident, Maggie is nursed back to health by Dr. Lester-Allegro. During Maggie's recovery, doctor and patient develop a mutual attraction; "The small scars had healed surreptitiously and the only telltale sign of her hospital stay was here obvious schoolgirl's crush on her handsome and ever attentive physician. And as if designed by romantic oracles with sweet-ending stories, young Doctor Lamont Lester-Allegro found himself equally enchanted by his patient." Soon after Maggie's recovery, the two are married and learn shortly thereafter that Maggie is pregnant with her former boyfriend's child. The timing of the pregnancy is one aspect of the novel that seems somewhat contrived given that Maggie would have to have been pregnant while in the hospital and you'd think during her recovery someone at the hospital would have discovered the gestation. Pressured by her husband's anger with the pregnancy and the smear that it would cause to the Lester-Allegro family reputation, Maggie decides to secretly put her child up for adoption. Maggie and Lamont attempt to start their marriage anew unaware of the future ramifications of the adoption. They are able to ignite a small flame under their marriage but over time the union deteriorates, leaving both Maggie and Lester open to explore sexual gratification elsewhere.

Center stage in the novel is Dorian Moore, the object of everyone's desires. Dorian is an escort who services the wealthy women and men of Baldwin Hills.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jasoneducator on December 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is James Baldwin transported to bourgeois, black LA society. It's a courageous book to write in our times and it deals with many themes that contemporary black fiction tends to avoid. You don't find too many novels whose centerpiece is an angelic male prostitute whose dazzling attractiveness overwhelms male and female characters alike in this powerful novel. Clay's novel shares James Baldwin's willingness to explore the psychological challenges of blackness in their erotic context. The unrealistic expectations and the naive perfectionism of black elite expectations guilt the main characters of this novel into destructive decisions as they wrestle with their own identity and past failures that they seek deny and suppress.

If you're thinking about buying this novel, do check out about ten to twenty pages of the prose first. I can see how many readers have a love hate relationship with this book. Some readers will be alienated by a narrative style that interweaves past and present events and the poetic prose. Others will applaud this author for taking some risks with a style that deviates from standard black contemporary fiction.

I was moved by the story and I'll recommend it, although I advise readers to consider this more a dark erotic exploration of gender and identity than the steamy novel being advertised in the book reviews on the cover.

3.5 stars

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Baldwin Hills is the nouveau rich black person's enclave just as Beverly Hills is the white's prestigious addresses in 1989. Maggie Lester Allegro trapped in a bittersweet loveless marriage, drinks and plays cards to ease her emotional pain. Her marriage never had a chance because on her honeymoon, she was pregnant with another man's child. With her husband's assent, she gave the baby up for adoption but the marriage disintegrated anyway.

Enter Dorian Moore, a young black stud who she has a one night stand with, a hunk who has women pay him for sex. She never forgets him and when she learns who he really is, she does something drastic. Maggie's husband Lamont is a closet gay and he knew that when he married his wife; he abstained from giving in to his urges, because he didn't want to disobey God's law but when he met Dorian Moore, he fell in love with him and wanted an exclusive relationship with him. Dorian never wanted that. When Dorian was killed Lamont broke down and was institutionalized. When he comes out, he also comes out of the closet and has a second chance at love.

Stanley Bennett Clay, author of Diva has written a characters study about blacks who have it all yet feel they have nothing. Lamont has to hide his true self in the1980's or face being ostracized and Maggie gave up the love of her life's child and found him again in very ugly circumstances. THE SECRET OF PRETTY BLACK MEN is a fascinating reading experience due to Dorian an enigmatic man who feels his calling is to satisfy the sexual needs of Baldwin Hills rich blacks.

Harriet Klausner
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