Entertainment » Books

Remembering Christmas

by Robb C. Sewell
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Sep 26, 2011
Remembering Christmas

With the holidays but a few months away comes the release of "Remembering Christmas," an anthology of three stories set against the backdrop of the Yuletide season.

Stories in the anthology feature gay men embarking on journeys that explore familial relationships, unexpected romance, newfound and renewed friendships, and love and passion. Each story blends humor, drama, and sentimentality in ways that stir the heart and touch the mind. "Remembering Christmas" is truly an outstanding and memorable addition to the annals of gay literature.

The collection begins with "Away, in a Manger," by Tom Mendicino (author of the Lambda Literary Award-nominated novel "Probation"). "Away, in a Manger" focuses on editor James and his reluctant holiday pilgrimage from New York City to his family home in West Virginia, a journey that takes an unexpected yet life-changing and life-affirming detour. "Away, in a Manger" is an exquisite tale about family, love, and following one's dreams and desires. Its characters are beautifully developed, its story painstakingly executed, its resonance strong and bold. The only apparent weakness in the story is the ending with its rushed summation of the characters' futures.

Next up is "A Christmas to Remember," by Frank Anthony Polito, author of the novels "Band Fags!" and "Drama Queers!" Set in the early 1990s, "A Christmas to Remember" unfurls the story of college student Jack and his all-consuming desire for his friend and roommate, the very heterosexual Kirk. The story follows Jack to his childhood home where fate affords him the opportunity to follow his heart and indulge his passions. "A Christmas to Remember" is an outstanding entry in the collection, replete with touches of nostalgia, wit, and romance.

The anthology ends with "Missed Connections" from Michael Salvatore, author of the novel "Between Boyfriends". Theo, fresh from having his heart betrayed and shattered by his lover and en route (quite reluctantly) to his parents' for the holidays, has a chance encounter with a childhood friend. "Missed Connections" is a compelling tale of friendship between two men, a love that eschews expectations and that transcends time. It is an endearing story about paths taken and untaken, of dreams forgotten and unrealized, of embracing life and moving on. It is, in many ways, the strongest and most emotionally satisfying of the stories presented in "Remembering Christmas."

Each story blends humor, drama, and sentimentality in ways that stir the reader’s heart, touch the reader’s mind.

With its beautifully and intricately crafted tales, unique and memorable characters, and traces of melancholy and wit, "Remembering Christmas" is a wondrous new piece of gay literature for all readers to behold. Pick up a copy and sit back (roaring fire optional). Embrace the uniqueness of the holidays, and celebrate the beauty of romance, friendship, and love!

Learn more about the authors, including readings of these stories, at:

Tom Mendicino

Frank Anthony Polito

Michael Salvatore

Kensington Books

Robb C. Sewell is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. His fiction has appeared in Toasted Cheese, Parlor, and Mississippi Crow. His novel excerpt, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," was nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. When not crafting new stories and characters, and pitching his play Breeding Ground, he enjoys spending time with his husband Eric and their cats Tabitha and Sciuto in their new home in Collingswood, NJ, and practicing yoga and breath therapy.


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