American Studies by Mark Merlis

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Synopsis

Infused with desire, betrayal, and healing, Mark Merils writes with dark humor of gay life in this century. Meet Reeve who thinks his life is over: his career is at an end and his landlord is evicting him because he made too much noise when a hustler beat him up. As he lies in his hospital bed, he finds himself brooding about the parallel ruin of his mentor Tom Slater, a famous American literary scholar. There is the further distraction of the patient in the next bed, a silent youth who arouses the desire in Reeve for straight men.
 

About Mark Merlis

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Mark Merlis grew up in Baltimore and attended Wesleyan and Brown Universities. He now lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
 
Published September 9, 1994 by Houghton Mifflin. 275 pages
Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Studies

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Given so much time to reflect on his wasted life, the 62-year-old Reeve thinks back to his friend and mentor, Tom Slater, a prominent literary critic who committed suicide after being hounded by a '50s witch-hunt that threatened to expose his homosexuality and a former dalliance with the Communis...

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Publishers Weekly

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Merlis's first novel centers on an aging, hospitalized, gay man and his recollections spanning 50 years of gay life in America.

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Publishers Weekly

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While recuperating from a hustler's brutal beating, Reeve, a 62-year-old gay man, finds his attention split between lustful thoughts for his young, straight hospital roommate and memories of his college professor and mentor, Tom Slater (a character based on critic, author and Harvard professor F.

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