Mark Merlis (March 9, – August 15, ) was an American writer and health policy Works. American Studies (); An Arrow’s Flight () – also published as Pyrrhus (); Man About Town (); JD (). Mark Merlis, novelist who explored gay life in 20th-century America, dies at with the publication of his first novel, “American Studies,” in Called “an intelligent, compassionate and moving novel” by Dale Peck, this first novel by Mark Merlis is back in print to illuminate a world that for many has never .
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AMERICAN STUDIES by Mark Merlis | Kirkus Reviews
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American Studies by Mark Merlis. Reeve thinks his life is over: As he lies in his hospital bed, trying to figure out what to do next, he finds himself brooding about the parallel ruin of his comrade and mentor Tom Slater, a famous American literary Reeve thinks his life is over: As he lies in his hospital bed, trying to figure out what to do next, he finds himself brooding about the parallel ruin of his comrade and mentor Tom Slater, a famous American literary scholar who dabbled in communism and was driven to suicide during the McCarthy era.
And there is the further distraction of the patient in the next bed, a silent youth who arouses feelings Reeve has vowed not to have any more, the dangerous longing for the sweetness and menace of straight men. Never at a loss for the telling detail or bitchy aside, Reeve offers a sweeping view of gay life in this century as he reconstructs the troubled world of Tom Slater a figure inspired by the critic F.
Matthiessen and recalls his own insouciant youth and horny old age. Dark humor and decadent prose infuse this story of desire, betrayal, and healing. Paperbackpages.
Published January 1st by Penguin Books first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about American Studiesplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 30, Mel Bossa rated it it was amazing Shelves: Edit added on August 25th Just found out that Merlis passed away at age 67 on August 15th.
Mark Merlis – Wikipedia
He was one of the first gay authors I read and his book American Studies is one I kerlis never forget and will continue to reread every few years. An enormous ameircan and wit to spare. But more than this, it’s a very funny, touching, and human tale of Reeves, a bitchy, witty, and lonely, aging gay man, victim o Edit added on August 25th But more than this, it’s a very funny, touching, and human tale of Reeves, a bitchy, witty, and lonely, aging gay man, victim of an assault he suffered at the hands of a “trick.
This book is so full of grace and intelligence, and every time I read the inevitable and tragic end, I feel a bruise on my heart. This is very marrk sort of narrator for a gay book. Meaning, Reeves isn’t this muscular gym addicted, Will and Grace type of gay man.
He’s a queen, from a time where it was dangerous to be one–come to think of it, it still is a little dangerous these days, right? A lot, depending on the country. What I love about this book, is the details and vivid emotions Merlis awakens in my mind when I read his carefully chosen words.
Nothing is left behind. And it always has me dreaming of Tom Slater’s Invisible City Someone said that this book is about the Civil war between straight men and gay men in America, and it is. The talent of Merlis is in the way he managed to show us that war raging in the tiny trench between two hospital beds. A Novel was my first Mark Merlis. I read it in A Mzrk is beyond ingenuity. Don’t we all think the same after something so powerful, beautiful and emotional? Why didn’t I do it?! Mark Merlis, who debuted as a novelist in his 40s, penning four works of fiction that explored the joys, tensions and agonies of gay life in America in the 20th century, died Aug.
In one of his interviews Mark Marlis said: Sfudies this is a commercial category, not an artistic one. I write, like anybody else, about how it is to be human.
What an enormous loss for us all: Feb 22, Mitch rated it really liked it Shelves: I’m often disappointed by gay literature novels. Too often the focus veers into sex, even when it’s not apropos to the story. And while Merlis explores sexuality in American Studies, the focus of sex is handled in a way that reflects the main characters experiences in post WW2 America. Sex for gay men at that time was often furtive and fleeting. It was something one did and then compartmentalized, never to be discussed at length.
Merlis describes a time when everyone who was “outside” the norm was suspect. This is a very well written book that pulled me back to a time when everyone was looking over their shoulder, and those that didn’t often paid a very big price.
This is undeniably well studles but the subject matter–the vicious cycle of self-loathing–doesn’t make it an easy read especially when zmerican of the characters are particularly likeable.
It is, however, a timely history lesson in what it was like to be gay pre-“sexual revolution” and of the tragic consequences of conformity. Some of the author’s phrases and ideas stuck to me like splinters and I liked turning chuncks of the book around in my head after I’d finished it. Given the fluid structure This is undeniably well written but the subject matter–the vicious cycle of self-loathing–doesn’t make it an easy read especially when none of the characters are particularly likeable.
Given the fluid structure between the past and the present and the expansive tone of the narrative, I did better with this when i read large passages of it at a amdrican. There was one event in the present-day story line near the end that just did not buy, but I did like how this story merls resolved.
All in all, well done but hard cheese.
I finished this book in 48 hours and pondered it for another The narrative is heavy with the self-loathing that most gays experience their entire lives Does it really get better?
Reeve is in hospital recovering from an assault. He’s been bringing meerlis men who are gay studes pay home to his apartment building for twenty years, but this latest one beat him up and almost blinded him. He looks terrible, feels ashamed and terrible, and is being evicted by his landlords over the incident.
His s I finished this book in 48 hours and pondered it for another His sickbed amreican are about the man, Slater, who was his teacher and, briefly, his lover at boarding school after World War II.
His fantasies are about the young man with meris mostly-severed thumb who shares the hospital room with him. A master at pacing, Merlis moves the reader from past to distant past to present, progressing story lines along several layers of narrative.
There is resolution of the self-loathing for readers who hold out for maro conclusion. I think Merlis is a treasure, one of the most under-appreciated gay writers in America. May 16, Todd rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book bridges the lives, perceptions, cultures, experiences of gay men across three generations in a way that I found moving and beautiful.
Not a happy read, as it encompases anti-gay violence and self-loathing among gay men. But a raw look at the psychological costs of past gay-maleness. I want to teach this to my LGBT students just as a way for them to try to imagine how different the world used to be for gay men. I did not hear about this author until I read his obituary, so I decided to see if I could find his work. This was his first – sad, poignant, such an interesting point of view of the narrator. Studoes to read his three other novels.
Apr 29, Adam rated it it was amazing. Reeve, 62, is hospitalized for an eye injury after a mugging merlie a trick.
His straight roommate, only referred to as “the boy,” is convalescing after damaging his thumb on the job. This story spans only a few days, but Reeve has time to reminisce over the past 40 years, coming back to the events revolving around the suicide of his mentor, Tom Slater, in and how this shaped Reeve’s life.
Many beautiful parts of this writing that can only be felt through gay experience, and I look forwar Mr. Many beautiful parts of this writing that can only be felt through gay experience, and I look forward to reading more from Mark Merlis. I don’t mean backsides, whose virtues are more generally appreciated, but backs, whose owners never see them and whose baroque, superabundant complexity is squandered, given away freely to those who will look.
Here I have gone and excited myself. After dinner, we go back to watching television, “Wheel of Fortune. It’s like hangman, but without the awful urgency as your body assumes its parts, one by one, on the gallows, ready to swing. The boy is evidently more interested in the floozy who turns the letters.
He has been touching himself absentmindedly through much of the show. I reach for a drink of water. He remembers me, glances over, and withdraws his hand from under the covers. For a while we both look only at the screen. I find myself feeling that it connects us, the lines of our vision meet at the vortex of the screen and we are comrades.
But soon enough my shame takes over and I conjure instead a beam of disdain angling at me.