michael king

stack of stained pages, redacted love letters, spilling ink, pressing it into tomorrow

book club: ‘the lost language of cranes’.

I brought my friend to Indy Reads Books with a mission of showing him a place he might fall in love with. Nestled at the end of Massachusetts Avenue, this particular bookstore feels a bit like a love letter to literature. Every shelf feels carefully tended, walls papered with the pages of books. For my friend and me, it was one of our last days together in Indiana. At least for this chapter.

‘You’ve got read this,’ he said with a smile, handing me a novel he’d pulled from a bin waiting to be dispersed. The Lost Language of Cranes, by David Leavitt. I read the summary –– a young man, Philip, decides it is time to come out to his parents, Owen and Rose. But Owen and Rose are faced with their own concerns, the changing real estate rules of New York City forcing them to consider buying out their long-dwelled apartment. And Owen, unbeknownst to his wife, continues to struggle with his own suppression of his desires to be with a man.

New York City. Family. Gay men navigating their truths. I smiled at my friend, rolling my eyes, and bought the novel. I decided, on that day, it would be the first novel I began and ended in New York City.


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book club: ‘history is all you left me’.

I pulled History is All You Left Me from the shelves of the Muncie Books-a-Million, drawn to read the back cover by my previous experience with author Adam Silvera. Committing himself to writing thoughtful queer stories for young adults, Silvera is not only willing to write about queerness honestly, but he also grapples with death, loss, grief –– topics we often imagine young adults would rather avoid considering.

History is told through the voice of Griffin, a young man living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and freshly navigating the unexpected death of his first boyfriend, Theo. Chapters alternate between his story following the loss of Theo and the story of how he and Theo fell in love ––  their ‘history,’ explored in the hopes of finding a means forward.


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