Three authors nominated for Lambda Literary Awards — which celebrate LGBT work — will read from their works at Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3.
“Looking After Joey”
Wilde City Press
Ever wonder what would happen if the porn star you were watching suddenly stepped out of the TV and became yours to care for? Such is the dilemma that main characters Calvin and Peachy find themselves in after porn star Joey comes to life in author David Pratt’s third book, “Looking After Joey.”
After Joey receives a proper schooling in how to be a gay man in New York City, the trio sets out to score invitations to a fabulous Labor Day party on Fire Island in this tale of love, laughter, family and fabulousness.
Nathan Burgoine of Out in Print says, “Read ‘Looking After Joey’ with the expectation of laughing throughout, but there’s more to it than that. The social commentary is razor sharp, and the ultimate destination is surprisingly moving.”
Pratt is also the author of Lambda Literary Award-winning “Bob the Book” and has directed and performed his work in theaters across New York City.
In the 1980s, Pratt was the first director of plays by the Canadian playwright John Mighton. He holds a master’s in creative writing from the New School and is currently working on two more novels and a novella for young people.
S. Chris Shirley
“Playing by the Book”
Riverdale Avenue Books
When 17-year-old Southern boy Jake Powell gets the opportunity to leave Alabama and his fundamentalist Christian minister father behind for a summer to attend Columbia University’s prestigious summer journalism program in New York City, it is a dream come true.
His newfound freedom allows him to explore his own identity, alongside his two friends and an outrageously flamboyant aunt.
The Advocate magazine named “Playing by the Book” one of its top-10 great LGBT reads and said Shirley “offers up an optimistic but not overly romanticized look at youth, becoming oneself, and the discomfort and joy that comes from finding out who you want to be in the world, whether your parents like it or not.”
Shirley is an award-winning writer and director and president of the board of Lambda Literary. He directed Roger Kuhn’s music video “What’s Your Name,” and wrote and directed “Plus,” an award-winning short film that played at international film festivals.
Shirley, an Auburn University graduate, later received a graduate degree from Columbia University and studied filmmaking at New York University. He was born and raised in Greenville, Ala., and currently resides in Manhattan.
“Playing by the Book” is Shirley’s first novel.
Wilde City Press
In “The Next,” the unnamed narrator is disconnected and depressed about a breakup, and his only source of relief is the entertainment he gets from spying on his neighbors from across his New York City apartment courtyard.
Of particular interest to him is the closeted lawyer, but nothing seems out of the ordinary. That is, until the narrator observes suspicious behavior that he takes to mean only one thing: His neighbor is a murderer.
Can partnering with the hunky Detective Marzoli free the narrator from his tragic past? Or will he make him “the next?”
“‘The Next’ by Rafe Haze is a stunning tour de force: ‘Rear Window’ without the filters, hyped on suspense and edge-of-your-seat observations of the human condition,” said Sand in My Shoes Reviews. “The portraits he paints of the souls around him were painful and brilliant and insightful and almost too honest to bear.”
Haze, a Bay Area native, currently lives in New York City. He has worked in the legal compliance, fashion, music and art industries.
In addition to prose, Haze loves writing classical music for orchestra and small ensemble, country music songs, musical theater, plays and screenplays.
For more information about the readings, visit queerbooks.com.