Newsday, Long Island's primary newspaper, Sunday circulation 495,000, is featuring an interview with me as the lead in Arts & Entertainment section of tomorrow's (Sunday May 3) issue. Author: Brian Alessandro, literary critic
Link goes to the online copy of the article, but it's behind a paywall which will put it out of reach for most people who aren't subscribers of Newsday or one of its partners.
It's not a review of the book. The questions were about my motivations as an author and the political situation of genderqueer people within LGBTQIA and how I feel about putting such personal information about the events in my life out there for public consumption -- most of which I've discussed at length in these blog posts.
Getting a spread in Newsday is excellent publicity and I hope it will direct a significant amount of local and regional attention to my book. Public awareness is very much a snowball phenomenon. When people think something is happening that other people in their community are paying attention to, they want to be at least somewhat acquainted with it and what it's about in case someone asks them.
Meanwhile, I'm continuing to get college newspaper reviews. The corona virus has of course delayed many such endeavors so they are being spread out over the course of months instead of being more closely packed together. That has the beneficial effect of lengthening the time when I'm popping up in print and affecting search engines and whatnot. That works in my favor, ameliorating the effect of being unable to make guest-speaker appearances and do book signings etc.
Here are the reviews that have come in since my April 3 post:
"First and foremost, what this book does really well is testify to the importance of the 'Q' in LGBTQ. When many people furrowed their eyebrows at the addition to another letter in the acronym, people like this author were fighting to show how necessary it was. Derek’s story takes place in a time way before the 'Q' was introduced, way before most began to understand or care about gender issues.
However, even though Genderqueer takes place in the 70s, there are many parallels to today’s world that will make the story resonate with today’s LGBTQ youth. Derek’s confusion and desperation to understand who he is is so palpable that anyone who has gone through anything similar, or is currently going through anything similar, will be able to relate. With this story, Alan D. Hunter sheds light on a gender identity that is relatively unknown to the general public while also giving others who share a similar story to him validation that there is nothing wrong with who they are."
— Anna Vanseveran. St. Norbert Times — St. Norbert College
"The discussion around gender identity and sexual orientation has progressed exponentially in the past decade. Same-sex marriage became legal nationwide only five years ago, and the LGBTQ community continues to fight for equal rights. With this constant push for change, some can only imagine the struggles of coming to terms with your gender identity during the late 1960s and 1970s.
GenderQueer: A Story From a Different Closet offers an eye-opening view into the upbringing of a gender-nonconforming person in an era when many people didn’t know such an identity existed..."
— Camryn DeLuca. The Diamondback — University of Maryland
"This is a novel that is bracingly raw and personal, yet always feels authentic in its sense of place and voice. Its visibility gives an insight into a point of view that doesn’t live in the “traditional” gender boxes...
It is in the last half of the book, when Derek starts to realize the whole person he is inside where the book reaches its peak...it is incredibly satisfying to see Derek hit his stride and finally find his sense of place and belonging in the world. "
— Josh Rittberg The Snapper — Millersville University
"...it’s clear from the beginning of the novel where the story is heading. Hunter introduces their ideas of gender at the start of the novel when they talk about their personality as a child – how they don’t identify with the rough behavior usually prescribed to the male gender – and these thoughts stay with them and influence their growing up.
When the revelation is made, it’s not something that comes out of left field. Because of course it’s not – these things don’t just appear one day like a magic trick. It’s always there, even if it’s not super obvious at first."
— Celia Brockert The Times-Delphic — Drake University
"...a treacherous and often realistic tale that’s packed with frustration, desperation and yearning. Hunter does an amazing job of captivating the raw emotions of a person seeking their own truths in a world where everyone else seems to know who they are and what their place is in the world...
We see Derek from a very young age get picked on and beat up. He tries time and time again not to let the bullies get into his head, but it proves more and more difficult. All the while he starts to believe the things they say about him. He seeks out answers in both healthy and unhealthy ways, often getting him in all sorts of trouble...
Overall this book is very eye-opening. It puts into words a story for people that are almost never represented. It shakes its metaphoric fist in the face of erasure, saying, 'I’m here and I will not be forgotten.'"
— Zarqua Ansari The Beacon — Wilkes University
I've also gradually accumulated reviews on GoodReads, with eight readers leaving review comments behind.
You're secluded in quarantine, and all the performances and events have been cancelled, so it's a good time to read a book!
My book has been published by Sunstone Press. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and ebook, and as ebook only from Apple, Kobo, and directly from Sunstone Press themselves.
Links to published reviews and comments are listed on my Home Page
This LiveJournal blog is echoed on DreamWidth, WordPress, and Blogger. Please friend/link me from any of those environments on which you have an account.
Index of all Blog Posts
comments at Dreamwidth -- https://ahunter3.dreamwidth.org/63906.html#comments