At a recent reading, a fellow author suggested that I had invented a new genre: retelling of historically-significant books nearly lost to memory. With “Vanya Says, ‘Go!'” I attempted to rescue a groundbreaking work but revisiting and retelling the story. There was no reason why I could not do the same with other, similar books.
After some research, I decided upon my next project, a retelling of the “first American Gay novel,” Bayard Taylor’s “Joseph and His Friend: A Pennsylvania Story.” First published as a serial for “The Atlantic” in 1869, “Joseph” was an homage to Taylor’s poet friend, Fitz-Greene Halleck, who had recently died. The original attempted to tell a tale of “love stronger than brotherly love,” but because of the conservative moral climate at the time, much of the intimacy had to be hidden behind coded language and veiled phrases. I am attempting to tell the story more openly and with a more modern style.
A sample of the first chapter of “Better Angels” is available on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/waynegoodmanbooks/