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Release date: 10/1/2015

Parade

a novel by Michael Graves

 


Reggie Lauderdale suffers from a crisis of faith. His cousin, Elmer Mott, dreams of becoming their hometown mayor. Both boys are stuck in suburbia trying to be adults… but they aren’t sure how to be themselves yet. When a twist of fate sends them fleeing in a stolen limousine, the cousins escape to Florida where they meet a retired televangelist, who inspires them on a path of glitzy sermons and late night parties. But are the celebrations sincere or deceptive? And who is keeping tabs? Who is watching?

Parade is a tour-de-force, comic tale of religion and government.

“There were several passages that recalled Vonnegut, an author famously adept at using beguiling prose to better ford complex ideas. I’m quite comfortable declaring that, with Parade, Mr. Graves has given us a very queer Breakfast of Champions.”

—Tom Cardamone, Lambda Literary

 


 

Praise for Parade

Parade is one jigger Capote’s Answered Prayers, a jigger of Tennessee Williams’s story ‘Two on a Party,’ and a generous pour of Michael Graves’s tenderly transgressive yet never abrasive tonic of satire and sweetness, all of it going down bracingly, not bitter. It is a story of callow youth contrasted with the tough and ultimately ruefully true choices that adulthood tries to force us into. In the author’s hands the narrative of rite of passage and religious hypocrisy goes down unsettlingly, which is the mark of the mixer’s skillful hand.”

—Michael Carroll, author of Little Reef and Other Stories

“With boyish exuberance and sparkling dialogue, Michael Graves delivers a deliciously queer tale that's part coming of age and part buddy flick. Elmer's and Reggie's adventures in their search for home are full of surprises.”

—Christopher Castellani, author of All This Talk of Love

“Simply put, Michael Graves’ debut novel, Parade, magnifies the talent on display in his short fiction.”

—Tom Cardamone, Lambda Literary

“Michael Graves has a keen eye of the farce and facts of life. Parade is a page-turner of surprise that holds the attention and a skillfully crafted novel to be savored for its uniqueness.”

—Bill Biss, Rainbow Reads, Edge

“An entertaining story full of timeless lessons and ingredients for living. A touching novel that deserves to have a significant place in LGBT literature.
—Jason Anthony, Chelsea Station

“I love the way he drew the characters but more than anything else in the book I love the dialogues. There is something very Southern in Graves’ style and his sense of satire is unique.”
—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen

About the author

Michael Graves is the author of Dirty One, a collection of short stories. This book was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist and an American Library Association Honoree. His fiction and poetry has been featured in numerous literary publications.

Visit Michael

at:


http://www.michaelgravesauthor.com/and

www.facebook.com/michaelgravesauthor.

Dirty One - stories by Michael Graves

also available from Chelsea Station Editions

Read an interview with the author at

Lambda Literary

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Also available from Chelsea Station Editions

Dirty One, stories by Michael Graves

Praise for Dirty One

"Dirty One is wild, heartbroken, funny, and fresh. Michael Graves writes like the heir to George Saunders and A.M. Homes, but he breaks them down, turns them inside out, and makes them all his own."

Paul Lisicky, author of Lawn Boy, Famous Builder and The Burning House 

"Dirty One has all the snap and crackle of pop culture, but with the dark wisdom of something much deeper. With a voice both glossy and gritty, both sissified and sharp as steel, Michael Graves sounds like no one but himself."

Michael Lowenthal, author of The Same Embrace, Avoidance, and Charity Girl

Dirty One is a searing, single-sitting read. Michael Graves employs a masterfully minimalist prose style that gives each of these stories the razor-sharp edge of brutal, unapologetic poetry.”

—Christopher Rice, New York Times Best-selling author of The Moonlit Earth

“The beauty of Michael Graves’ Dirty One is an American beauty, one where the discarded, the marginalized, and the rejected are the most important things—where the Dirty One is, when we look at him honestly, through Graves’ clear and clearing prose, beneath all those curls and curls, the Handsome One.”

—Brian Bouldrey, author of Love, the Magician and Honorable Bandit: A Walk Across Corsica

 “Graves explores that line between childhood and adulthood, pinpoints the way we linger there without even noticing it… Graves characters are outrageous drug fueled, sex crazed, self-centered teenagers. Whereas everyone in the eighties (or writing of the eighties) focused on dirty realism or America's golden age of padded shoulders, Graves's world is refreshingly queer and odd and fun.”

—Eric Nguyen, You Fight Like Anne Rice Blog

 

“The young adults that populate Graves’ fiction are skewed, skittering through their adolescence with a drug- and demon-fueled intensity that leaves the reader breathless and aching to sit down with these poor kids to let them know that things do, indeed, get better. Still, the kids are only following the examples of their even more fucked up parents, most of whom have no business having kids in the first place. But the drama… The drama is delicious and makes for some of the finest reading I’ve had in months. Graves is one of the most original young voices writing for our community today—so pick up a copy of Dirty One and you can tell your friends that you were a fan from the beginning.”

—Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print

“As debuts go, they don’t get much better than this. Graves, a child of the ’80s, draws diligently on the banal pop culture totems of his adolescence—cassette tapes, pastel recliners, roller rinks, Walkmans, Mario Lopez in Tiger Beat. His characters, however, are far from banal. They are antsy, angsty kids, some in their teens, some younger, consumed by jarring desires they can’t resist but don’t quite comprehend, anxious to shed their everyday skins but with barely any sense of the world beyond their suburban existence. And, boy, do they transgress. These stories brand Graves as a next-generation master of prose that is at once remorseless and refreshing.”

—Richard Labonté, Bookmarks

 

“A nostalgic saga of pre-teen drama. It’s like a Wham video with a polymorphous perverse underbelly and a Flock of Seagulls hairdo.”

Sam Baltrusis, Boston Spirit

“A city of mostly white, working class people is seen from a gay perspective in Michael Graves’s poetic short stories from Chelsea Station Edition’s Dirty One, which is also more of a literary outing than a porn romp. Leominster Massachusetts, near Worcester in the mid-part of the state, has played a more significant role in the establishment and progress of plastics than any other city in the United States, which factoid gives a kind of ironic contrast to the blue-collar nature of the place. Set in the 1980s, the stories follow the misadventures of some children and adolescents who are living in the acid drenched community. For example, a 6th grader named Butch has his first homosexual tongue kiss ("From Kissing") and when a bout of the flu follows, he is convinced he’s contracted AIDS. A budding Truman Capote in his poignant portraiture of misfit children and teens, Graves is a talent to monitor.

—Kay Bourne, Edge

“Reminiscent of Dennis Cooper and Bret Easton Ellis, the antic language of these stories belies a larger, subtly unfolding interiority of sublime horrors. Desperation and an almost willful naïveté color each story, and throughout Graves’ lilting prose produces a welcomed hyper-focused verve in his characters—a sort of sissy magical realism.”

Dan Lopez, Lambda Literary

Dirty One is a quick read that hits hard. Graves tells his tales in a punchy, dialogue-driven style that keeps the pages turning, even through the direst scenarios.”

—Jim Gladstone, Passport

“Set in industrial Leominster, Mass. during the 1980s, Graves’ dark (and sometimes drug-fueled) stories capture pivotal moments from the cusp of adolescence. His prose, at once fun and sophisticated, makes for a quick and compelling read.”

Next magazine

“It’s the very darkness inside ourselves that Graves shines a light on in his partially funny, partially devastating, wholly honest collection.”

—Stephanie Monahan, Pulse