Courtesy of the publisher, today we have a special swag giveaway, the new book from Joel Derfner, Swish: My Quest To Become The Gayest Person Ever, which goes on sale this Tuesday.
Joel Derfner is gayer than you. Don’t feel too bad about it, though, because he has made being gayer than you his life’s work. At summer day camp, when he was six, Derfner tried to sign up for needlepoint and flower arranging, but the camp counselors wouldn’t let him, because, they said, those activities were for girls only. Derfner, just to be contrary, embarked that very day on a solemn and sacred quest: to become the gayest person ever. Along the way he has become a fierce knitter, an even fiercer musical theater composer, and so totally the fiercest step aerobics instructor (just ask him—he’ll tell you himself).
In Swish, Derfner takes his readers on a flamboyant adventure along the glitter-strewn road from fabulous to divine. Whether he’s confronting the demons of his past at a GLBT summer camp, using the Internet to “meet” men—many, many men—or plunging headfirst (and nearly naked) into the shady world of go-go dancing, he reveals himself with every gayer-than-thou flourish to be not just a stylish explorer but also a fearless one. So fearless, in fact, that when he sneaks into a conference for people who want to cure themselves of their homosexuality, he turns the experience into one of the most fascinating, deeply moving chapters of the book. Derfner, like King Arthur, Christopher Columbus, and Indiana Jones—but with a better haircut and a much deeper commitment to fad diets—is a hero destined for legend.
Written with wicked humor and keen insight, Swish is at once a hilarious look at contemporary ideas about gay culture and a poignant exploration of identity that will speak to all readers—gay, straight, and in between.
Joel’s was one the first blogs I ever read, back before the start of JMG, and he’s now a pal of mine who I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with at several readings. You may remember his last book, the well-received Gay Haiku. I started reading Swish on a recent flight to Florida and was actually sorry to have the plane land, I was that engrossed in it. It’s hilarious, touching, and profound – often in the same sentence.
Enter to win your copy of Swish by commenting on this post. Enter once only and please remember to leave an email address you check frequently. Joel will be reading from Swish at 7:30 on Tuesday, May 13, at the Barnes & Noble on 6th Avenue and 8th Street in Manhattan.