Best Short Story Collection

City Paper

James Magruder’s first book since “Sugarless” is a series of interlocked stories that follow the lives of cousins Tom and Elliott. They have different experiences growing up gay in the Midwest from the 1970s to the 1990s—Tom tries to be an all-American boy and hide his sexuality, while Elliott heads for a semester abroad in Paris and flings himself into an affair with an older man. Magruder adroitly mingles tales of Tom’s and Elliott’s sexual misadventures with the hilarious nightmares than only come with family relationships, and he does it in writing that folds mordant observations into poetic image. As entertaining and ribald and it is elegiac and devastating

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