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Authors: William J. Mann

The Men from the Boys

BOOK: The Men from the Boys
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The Men from the Boys
“An erotic, riveting page-turner. As sexy as it's relevant. Offers a profound statement about the state of evolving gay relationships at the end of the millennium. You must read this delightful book of our time.”
—Douglas Sadownick, author of Sacred Lips of the Bronx
 
“Mann charts with a steady compass one young man's journey through the bewildering landscape of desire and dread that is contemporary gay life. There's much passion here, and pain and anger and morality, and yes, sex too, and finally a wisdom so generous it makes the heart ache. The reach of gay relationships across generations—the complex legacies we both receive from and bestow on one another—has seldom been so richly explored. A magnificent debut.”
—Paul Russell, author of
Sea of Tranguillity
and
Boys of Life
 
“This isn't a story of interest only to gays. This is a family drama ... and its life lessons enrich
The Men from the Boys.
An absorbing, cleverly paced story of love and friendship.”
—
Hartford Courant
 
 
WILLIAM J. MANN is the author of
Wisecracker: The Gay Hollywood of William Haines
(Viking). He writes for such publications as the
Boston Phoenix, The Advocate,
and
Architectural Digest.
His short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including
Men on Men 6
(Plume). He lives in Provincetown.
“A bittersweet, carefully observed romance.... This is the warmest-hearted account I have yet to read of both how we live now and how we might live in the future.”
—David Bergman, editor of
Men on Men
series
 
“A heartfelt story about the meaning of gay male relationships and friendships.”
—
Boston Phoenix
 
 
“Mann offers all one might ask for in gay fiction: solid, believable characters who reflect the ethnic, class, and generational diversity of the community; witty, ribald conversation; laugh lines that are funny and sex scenes that are hot. An impressive debut.”
—
Kirkus Reviews
 
 
“Witty, erotic, philosophical, tear-jerking, occasionally tragic and ultimately uplifting ... resonates with a powerful emotional honesty that is sure to strike a chord with readers. Mann has populated Jeff's world with fully realized, immediately identifiable characters who soon seem like old friends.”
—
Bay Review
 
“Ebbs and flows with a sweaty techno pulse.... In this beautiful book, first-time novelist William J. Mann explores the irony that gay men are mourned when they die young, but dismissed when they grow old ... poignant and delightful.”
—POZ
“A buoyant but ultimately serious exploration of what love can mean to gay men.”
—
Lambda
Book Report
 
“At this point in time, the experiences, understandings, and desires of gay men who are 22, 32, or 47 are vastly different. Mann is one of the first writers to delineate these different contemporary life experiences within the framework of one novel.”
—
Bay Area Reporter
 
“William J. Mann's funny and swiftly told story of one man stuck between the Baby Boomers and Generation X will warm your heart with its sensitive and tender portrayal.”
—
Edge
magazine
 
“It is Mann's gift for dialogue that makes this first novel remarkable.... His characters talk the way people actually speak ... one of the most honest and engrossing books in years.”
—Out
(Pittsburgh)
 
“Mann's characters enter and leave relationships, find mentors, sleep with cute boys, deal with AIDS, face death and generally learn what it means to be responsible, caring, sexually active adults in a culture that does its best to inhibit all three.
The Men from the Boys
is a debut novel that delights and challenges but, more important, understands how we live today.”
PLUME
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Pumam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, England
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia
Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2
Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Hannondsworth, Middlesex, England 
Published by Plume, an imprint of Dutton NAL, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc.
Previously published in a Dutton edition. 
First Plume Printing, June. 1998
10
 
Copyright © William J. Mann, 1997
All rights reserved 
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint from
previously published material:
“(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden” by Joe South. Copyright © 1971. Published by
Lowery Music, Inc. Used by permission.
The Outermost Haure
by Henry Beston. Copyright 1928, 1949, © 1956 by Henry Beston,
© 1977 by Elizabeth C. Beston. ., Inc.
REGISTERED TRADEMARK-MARGA REGISTRADA
 
 
The Library of Congress catalogued the Dutton edition as follows:
Mann, William J.
The men from the boys / William J. Mann.
p. cm.
eISBN : 978-0-452-27856-1
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any, form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE AT QUANTITY DISCOUNTS WHEN USED TO PROMOTE PRODUCTS 
OR SERVICES. FOR INFORMATION PLEASE WRITE TO PREMIUM MARKETING DIVISION,
PENGUIN PUTNAM INC., 375 HUDSON STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10014.

http://us.penguingroup.com

FOR TIM 
AND, EVEN NOW,
FOR VICTOR
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Many people helped shape this book, persuading me of its worth and guiding it toward reality. In particular, I am indebted to those individuals who read and brought new insights into the developing manuscript: Christopher Bram, Michael Bronski, Lesléa Newman, Surina Khan, Jim Gemmel, Suzanne Lewis, Karen Bellavance-Grace, and Kelly Scannell. I am grateful not only for their sharp eyes, intelligent criticism, and constant demand for excellence but also for their sustaining friendship during this process. I want to acknowledge as well my deep gratitude to Dorothy Allison, who gave me invaluable early feedback and convinced me I wasn't a fraud.
Matthew Carnicelli provided the kind of encouragement and advice that an author dreams about from an editor. It has been a joy to work with him, and I thank him for believing in the book and its unique structure.
My agent, Malaga Baldi, has been a constant source of support. She is an untiring champion, a shrewd advocate, and a genuine friend.
Finally, I must thank my life partners. Tim Huber, as in everything else, provided unwavering love and support: material, financial, and emotional. A few words on an acknowledgments page can hardly express my gratitude and love for him. Without his belief in me, this book would not exist. Likewise, I can only offer humble thanks to Victor D'Lugin, a giant of a man who taught both Tim and me the meaning of unconditional love and support. His constructive criticism of early manuscripts helped fashion this novel, but even more important, his wit, wisdom, and unfailing devotion helped me navigate my life during the roller-coaster year of writing it. Even now—especially now—he continues to inspire.
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