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Mark Merlis (March 9, – August 15, ) was an American writer and health policy Works[edit]. American Studies (); An Arrow’s Flight () – also published as Pyrrhus (); Man About Town (); JD (). Mark Merlis, novelist who explored gay life in 20th-century America, dies at with the publication of his first novel, “American Studies,” in Called “an intelligent, compassionate and moving novel” by Dale Peck, this first novel by Mark Merlis is back in print to illuminate a world that for many has never .

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Reeve, the main character, gained plenty of book smarts from Tom, but Tom’s r What’s worse than being a Marxist professor during McCarthyism? It is his TV, I am an intruder, reading over his shoulder.

American Studies – Mark Merlis – Google Books

This book bridges the lives, perceptions, cultures, experiences of gay men across three generations in a way that I found moving and beautiful. He has been touching himself absentmindedly aemrican much of the show. And ameircan always has me dreaming of Tom Slater’s Invisible City Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. His friend and one of the original boys tells the story as he lies in a hospital recovering from a bad gay mugging, a trick gone bad.

So glad the subsequent paperback versions weren’t so sexual. Just found out that Merlis passed away at age 67 on August 15th. The characters are never fully fleshed out and remain foggy or one-note. Full meerlis gentle wisdom and wry humor. McCarthy era, homosexuality in ss America and literary scholarship.

American Studies

Meet Reeve who thinks his life is over: Tom, the protagonist’s mentor and eventual colleague, endured severe intellectual and sexual repression despite being a member of society’s upper crust. By using flashbacks to a much earlier time, Merlis weaves a haunting story of both: Fuzzy Walgreen wants Toms dorm, so he accuses Tom of crimes against nature.

Sparse, thoughtful, raw; Mr. His school professor’s mysterious past is revealed and he ruminates on the man’s life. Never at a loss for the telling detail or bitchy aside, Mfrlis offers a sweeping view of gay life in meerlis century as he reconstructs the troubled world of Tom Slater a figure inspired by the critic F.


Get to Know Us. That is to say, it reads like the work of someone who has had a lot of writing bottled up in him mak many studiew, not an amreican bad thing for a first novel. As he lies in his hospital bed, trying to figure out what to do next, he finds himself brooding about the parallel ruin of his comrade and mentor Tom Slater, a famous American literary scholar who dabbled in communism and was driven aemrican suicide during the McCarthy era.

Reeves loses his apartment for being gay. While recovering in a hospital, Reeve tries to figure out a plan after being assaulted and evicted. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. I found myself wholly immersed in a time when being gay was not easy and in fact could prove to be ruinous. Los Angeles Times Book Prize: He subsequently took a job with the Maryland Department of Health to support himself while writing.

A beloved university professor at Yale is investigated for his prior associations with the communist party. He is telling us. Wanna read about forbidden desire and the consequences of claiming or denying it?

I’ve recently discovered Mark Merlis. Don’t have a Kindle? In his hospital bed, reflects on his former professor’s life. Learn more about Amazon Prime.

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Penguin Books- Fiction – pages. History Created December 10, 7 revisions Download catalog record: There is the further distraction of the patient in the next bed, a silent youth who arouses the desire in Reeve for straight men.

Jul 04, William Freeman rated it really liked it. Reeve describes very well how hard it is to get old in a society that worships the young, and where being old makes you a pariah.

There was one event in the present-day story line near the end that just did not buy, but I did like how this story line resolved. Matthiessen–a towering figure in midth century letters and one of the founders of American Studies–and a meditation on gay desire and culture in the age of AIDS. Its simple, noble, graceful prose refreshes the very language, and its unsquinting portrayal of gay men is searing and authentic. Funny, knowing, wry and, at the same time, as honest as he can be for the first time in his life about his own and his older friend’s story.


AMERICAN STUDIES by Mark Merlis | Kirkus Reviews

Mark Merlis, who debuted as a novelist in his 40s, penning four works of fiction that explored the joys, tensions and agonies of gay life in America in the 20th century, died Aug. However, Tom is unable to consummate the relationship, keeping it platonic and they soon they tire of each other. As he lies in his hospital bed, trying to figure out what to do next, he finds himself brooding about the parallel ruin of his comrade and mentor Tom Slater, a famous American literary scholar who dabbled in communism and was driven to suicide during the McCarthy era.

Everything by Merlis is well worth reading. Account Options Sign in.

Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. But it is a very human novel showing what redemption there is even in the worst of times as well as the courage which many men had in working their way through it. The scene is set to describe what passed as gay life in the Fifties but also the incredible bombardment of accusation and hostility that people of the left experienced in that period.

Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Really, I should strike the Matthiessen reference so as not to scare away folks who might think: This is a book that transcends genre in portraying the abyss that divides one ostracized human soul from all others.