Summoning Alice Keppel
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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
The Boy Who Could Draw Dr. King
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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
Moon Over Moldova
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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
The Lost Movie Theaters of Southeastern Brooklyn
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In these five autobiographical pieces, award-winning short story writer Richard Grayson explores the Brooklyn of his childhood and adolescence. "The Lost Movie Theaters of Southeastern Brooklyn... More > and Rockaway Beach" and "Branch Libraries of Southeastern Brooklyn" return to the venues where a boy in love with films and books learned about life. "Three Scenes from My Life (With Special Guest Star Truman Capote)" is an episodic tale about adolescent encounters with the famed author. "Seven Men Who Made Me Happy" recounts how watching soap operas over several decades can be a lifesaver, and "Melissa and the Good Legislator" juxtaposes the story of a gay college student who managed to get a girl pregnant and the courageous New York State assemblyman who came to the young couple's rescue. In these memoirs, previously published in online magazines like Mississippi Review and Eyeshot, Grayson weaves funny, quirky, poignant memories into a portrait of a baby boom teenager in Brooklyn before the borough became cool.< Less
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