Also by Felice Picano from Chelsea Station
True Stories Too: People and Places from My Past
About the author
Felice Picano is the author of more than twenty-five books of poetry, fiction, memoirs, nonfiction, and plays. His work has been translated into many languages and several of his titles have been national and international bestsellers. He is considered a founder of modern gay literature along with the other members of the Violet Quill. Picano also began and operated the SeaHorse Press and Gay Presses of New York for fifteen years. His first novel was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Since then he’s been nominated for and/or won dozens of literary awards. Recent work includes a collection of stories, Tales: From a Distant Planet, and a history and memoir of his early gay life in New York, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village. Picano teaches at Antioch College, Los Angeles.
Visit the author's Web site at www.felicepicano.net.
Praise for True Stories by Felice Picano
“If you’ve read all of Picano’s nonfiction, and there’s a lot, portions of these 'portraits from my past' will seem familiar–some essays are expanded from shorter versions that appeared in previous books, restoring text excised, most likely, by page-count restrictions or editorial decisions. No matter. Picano is such a vibrant memoirist that every extra word is welcome. As a lithe youth he charmed “British auntie” W.H. Auden and an intimidating Diana Vreeland, was physically aroused at the Continental Baths by Bette Midler crooning for near-naked boys at the dawn of her career, and later crossed paths with Tennessee Williams and revived the literary career of Charles Henri Ford–appealing anecdotes all. But the best essays reveal a less celebrity-centered side: Picano besting a boyhood bully; Picano reconnecting with his curmudgeonly father; Picano explicating with wrenching honesty his complex relationship with publishing partner Terry Helbing; and, most poignantly, Picano remembering men he played with, partied with, and forged friendships with, men who died in the early days of AIDS, when it was a death sentence, and whose shortened lives Picano honors.”
—Richard Labonté, Bookmarks
“Telling truths is something that popular, prolific author and memoirist Felice Picano does extremely well. This is most evident in True Stories: Portraits from My Past, his latest collection of expanded personal essays and life reflections. Picano’s memory is impeccable, and his ear for dialogue just as distinctive and richly realized. Appealing and wonderfully anecdotal, the essays shared here harken back to a cloudless era when fun was freewheeling and the consequences of that fun were overcast at best. With this collection, Picano pays tribute to the many unsung heroes of his past who have long since fallen, forever etched both in memory and the occasional bout of inexplicable laughter and tears.”
—Jim Piechota, Bay Area Reporter
“Every essay is gripping, exciting, fun to read, and, yes, entertaining. No wonder Picano is such a popular writer. True Stories is a masterpiece. Buy it and enjoy it.”
—James D. Anderson, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, ALA Newsletter, GLBT Reviews
“With True Stories, Felice Picano enhances his status as one of the great literary figures in recent gay history and does so with wit, verve and as much panache as we’ve come to expect.”
—Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print
“Great fun and a pleasure to read. Sassy, honest, and funny. Highly recommended.”
—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen
"A triumphant story of a man who lived his life to the fullest."
—Chris O’Guinn, After Elton
"Felice Picano is perhaps one of the greatest American contributors to the world of Gay literature. His latest contribution is True Stories: Portraits From My Past, which confirms his place among giants of Queer writing. These essays of memory are something you can escape with at the beach, or slip into from the comfort of your couch. Either way, read them and enjoy."
—Eric Andrews-Katz, Seattle Gay News
“Each chapter brings alive a memory and with that memory a man, his dreams and loves, his art and his death.”
—Elisa Rolle, Reviews and Ramblings
“The naturalness and easy universality of Picano’s writing challenges the art of pretense. True Stories is filled with literary gossip… Picano moves easily among literary and writer friends to memories of childhood relatives.”
—Thom Nickels, Lambda Literary
“Picano has led a fascinating life with eyes wide open, and the pieces here have a vivid, conversational tone that makes them feel like you're listening to an old friend. This relaxed musing mode suits Picano so well that readers will feel just as engaged by his stories about childhood friends and his Grandpa Ralph as by those about well-known figures in the arts; Picano's perceptions, rather than his connections, are what make his stories sparkle.”
—Jim Gladstone, Passport Magazine
“Charming. Compelling and deliciously entertaining. Many of these stories span the gulf between the post-stonewall flowering of gay culture to the harsh years of AIDS. Picano writes with wit, sensitivity and vivid detail. It is still hard for me to imagine that one person could cross paths with so many interesting people in only one lifetime, but the truly remarkable aspect is that he was able to capture those experiences in such a delightful collection of anecdotes and portraits. I could not put it down. This is a book I will read over and over.”
—Alan Chin, Examiner.com
“Whether he is describing his supernatural experiences or sexual encounters, Picano brings readers into a world long since vanished. I highly recommend True Stories if you want to capture a glimpse of a well lived life of a writer who shows us in vivid detail what it means to be truly alive.”
—Tony Leggio, Ambush
Read more on Felice Picano and True Stories from the first issue of Chelsea Station magazine.
Praise for the memoirs of Felice Picano
"A tremendously entertaining collection of anecdotes and portraits that only a witness (and a good writer) could report in such vivid detail."
—The New York Times Book Review on Art & Sex in Greenwich Village
“Compelling and engrossing, it will conjure up memories of everyone’s adolescence, straight or gay.”
“A lovely, not too nostalgic portrait of what is now a vanished bohemia.”
—Lambda Book Report
“His glints of flashing wit and subtle hints of dark decadence transcend clichés.”
“Picano deftly evokes those placid Eisenhower years of bicycles, boners and book reports. He makes us remember what it feels like to be a child. It really glows.”
“A stunning tale.”
—San Francisco Examiner
“It is fortunate that someone as talented as Picano survived to tell the story, to remind us of the glorious decade between Stonewall and AIDS, and of the gifted men and women who made that decade so memorable.”