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The Abominable Gayman by Johnny Townsend

The Abominable Gayman

by Johnny Townsend

420 pages
A gay Mormon missionary in Italy learns about life.

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Category: Fiction:Gay
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About the Book
-Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2011

What is a gay Mormon missionary doing in Italy? He is trying to save his own soul as well as the souls of others. In these tales chronicling the two-year mission of Robert Anderson, we see a young man tormented by his inability to be the man the Church says he should be. In addition to his personal hell, Anderson faces a major earthquake, organized crime, a serious bus accident, and much more. He copes with horrendous leaders and his own suicidal tendencies. But one day, he meets another missionary who loves him, and his world changes forever.

 

Reviews
There are moments that are painful to read, steeped as we become in Elder Anderson's self-hatred and the constant onslaught of homophobia from his fellow missionaries. In the second half of the book, though, Anderson slowly emerges from the muck of self-pity. He has a companion who genuinely loves him, and before long he begins to love himself. The final story, 'Transfer Cookies,' ends...on a sweet note. The sense of relief as Anderson comes to terms with himself and with God makes the tension of the earlier stories worth it. And if that isn't the pinnacle of Mormon literature, I don't know what is.
- Ben Christensen, A Motley Vision
Told from a believably conversational first-person perspective, this collection's novelistic focus on Anderson's journey to thoughtful self-acceptance allows for greater character development than often seen in short stories, which makes this well-paced work rich and satisfying, and one of Townsend's strongest. An extremely important contribution to the field of Mormon fiction.
- Kirkus Reviews

 

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About the Author
Johnny Townsend earned an MFA in fiction writing from Louisiana State University. He has published in Newsday, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Humanist, The Progressive, Glimmer Train, The Massachusetts Review, Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, and in the anthology In Our Lovely Deseret: Mormon Fictions.

 

 

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