In the four whimsical and compelling tales of British and American history collected in SUMMONING ALICE KEPPEL, acclaimed short story writer Richard Grayson creates an alternative universe where King... More > Edward VII's mistress is worshipped as a goddess; where "Old Tippecanoe," President William Henry Harrison, is upstaged by a minor actor he considers a mere nuisance; where the madness of Cold War Defense Secretary James V. Forrestal has immense weird repercussions for decades; and where a 124-year-old New Jersey man hilariously explains the true story of the building of the Panama Canal.< Less
In this quartet of stories about late 20th century gay relationships gone awry, Richard Grayson's young male characters are always looking in all the wrong places. As The American Book Review wrote:... More >
"They are young gay men trying to survive in a hostile or marginally accepting world. They conduct themselves with manic cheer. They possess a grace and courage that have to substitute for the acceptance and love that most people look for. Their successes in this sphere are meager; their disappointments, many.
Yet, despite a seeming similarity in their drives – and palpable coincidences of character and action – Grayson rarely palls. His young men are imbued with a sweet, endearing nuttiness that serves both to energize and individualize. He depicts our cyberspace and e-mail age, so convenient for rapidly dissolving and re-forming associations, invariably against a backdrop of the search for sincere love and the deaths that ravage gay men and their partners."< Less
MOON OVER MOLDOVA presents three stories by acclaimed writer Richard Grayson. In "Moon Over Moldova," while a Southern college town is rocked by a gay rights referendum, a grad student... More > finds even a "backward" former Soviet republic a refuge from personal and political turmoil. In "Boys Club," a queercore band's bassist has a crush on the group's insufferably punker-than-thou lead singer. And "Everything But Sympathy" artfully conflates stories about elderly nursing home residents; the real-life power broker and "uncrowned king of Florida," banker Ed Hall; young actors and others dying too young of AIDS; and a thirtysomething teacher's affair with a teenage boy who seems to know a lot more than he does. Publishers Weekly called Richard Grayson's uniquely quirky narratives "lighter and funnier than most gay fiction" and The Sun-Sentinel noted: "Although memorial services for young men seem commonplace in Grayson's fiction, the stories are not tragedies. They are funny, intelligently written and original."< Less
In this collection of autobiographical essays, award-winning short story writer Richard Grayson (WITH HITLER IN NEW YORK, I BRAKE FOR DELMORE SCHWARTZ) contemplates some seminal experiences: selling... More > his teenage drawings of Martin Luther King Jr. from a downtown Brooklyn clothing store in the mid-1960s; watching another well-known African-American minister, Louis Farrakhan, unwittingly play Cupid for his friends; avoiding an overly friendly Kevin Bacon on the streets of their Upper West Side neighborhood in the 1980s; childhood TV watching of such sitcoms as "Amos & Andy," "Beulah" and "The People's Choice"; dodging the Vietnam-era draft and hanging out with LSD-taking hippies in Greenwich Village; and making his 80-year-old Jewish grandmother one of Miami's most glamorous celebrities. These wry, funny, thoughtful pieces use the medium of memoir to explore American history of recent decades and attitudes toward race relations, sexual behavior, and popular culture in an entertainingly offbeat way.< Less