A delightful and moving coming-of-age novella and stories from the author of Slow Dance on the Fault Line.
Reminscent of The Testimony of Taliesin Jones, this tender, funny novel of gay awakening will be published alongside a further four of Donald Rawleys fabulous Californian stories.
It is summer 1968 in Phoenix, Arizona, and ten-year-old only son LP wants to be a glamorous woman in sunglasses, rushing someplace secret… Instead, he has a negligent mother, a cruel grandmother (‘a tarantula in mink’), a kindly black nursemaid and a new set of friends from the other side of the tracks, with whom he teeters on the edge of sexuality and knowledge of the darker corners of adult life.
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‘I love reading Donald Rawley. In this, the austerity decade, Rawley’s writing blazes unapologetically fecund and startling. It is a literary movement in itself.’
Sandra Tsing Loh
‘Donald Rawley is the literary equivalent of amyl nitrate. Reading this searing talent may give you a heart attack, but you’ll die with a twisted, sated smile of gratitude on your lips.’
Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
‘I wanted to cry, but I knew Betty might be in the next room. I sat down at my grandmother’s piano, stared out at Camelback Mountain, and touched its keys, trying to make the sound as soft as I could, blue and low in the air.’
Abandoned without warning by his distracted mother and dictatorial grandmother, ten-year-old Lindsay Paul (‘L.P.’) Fowler is sent off to spend the summer of 1968 in the care of Betty, his grandmother’s black maid. A former jazz singer at war with inner demons of her own, Betty is the only adult in L.P.’s small universe who has a place in her heart for the troubled boy, an effeminate only child who struggles to find a space for himself in a world that does not want him.
In the stark, dry heat of Phoenix summer filled with betrayals, loss and rude sexual awakenings, L.P. must learn many things about the fragile masks adults hide behind and the weapons they use to wound. Collected here with four new short stories, 'The Night Bird Cantata' sings with the soft blue music of a summer night, a story of boyhood that is as arrestingly beautiful as it is devastating.
“Rawley has an uncanny knack for making the bizarre beautiful and for capturing the pathos and peculiar dignity of characters who wouldn’t normally command respect. He achieves an emotional and tonal range that’s extremely impressive.”
CHRISTINA PATTERSON, 'Observer'
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Book Description Flamingo 17/08/1998, 1998. Book Condition: used-good. - GREAT BOOK IN GOOD OR BETTER CONDITION, NORMALLY SENT SAME DAY FROM WAREHOUSE. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780006551089
Book Description Flamingo 17/08/1998, 1998. Book Condition: used-good. - GREAT BOOK IN GOOD OR BETTER CONDITION, NORMALLY SENT SAME DAY FROM WAREHOUSE. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780006551089
Book Description Flamingo 17/08/1998, 1998. Book Condition: used-good. GREAT BOOK IN GOOD OR BETTER CONDITION, NORMALLY SENT SAME DAY FROM WAREHOUSE. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780006551089
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # TT01256870B
Book Description 1998-08-17., 1998. Book Condition: GOOD. Flamingo. . Paperback. Book: GOOD. 256pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1592644
Book Description Flamingo, London, 1998. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Good, Brown Edges. First. Size: 5 "x 7 3/4". Bookseller Inventory # 026441