Leon Noel, aka Noel Leon, the wistful protagonist of Memoirs of a Thin Man, envisions a world without fixed identities. Not black not white, not queer not straight. Our scholar would replace such static notions with concomitance and fluidity and loops.
He meets a dashing African-American couple abroad and sees a chance for bi-topia. But can the quixotic hero survive his own runaway fantasies? The answer lies in this candid retelling!
Forward to the eBook Edition
Memoirs of a Thin Man has no precise starting point; no exact finish line. So, where to jump in?
RANDOM.ORG, an unbiased third party specializing in lotteries, has selected an opening page by placing the first words of all 120 chapters into an electronic hat and pulling out one.
Accordingly, the novel initiates with the word “Egestion” in both the eBook and hard-copy versions. Check out the drawing result.
Alternatively, readers may choose their own first page via the egg-shaped “Chaptology.” Download and print that circular index. Then, tack it to a wall and toss a dart. Or, place it on a table and spin a spinner.
Happy non-linear reading!
Clickety Clack, Clickety Clack: Abe Lincoln’s Train Done Jumped the Track posits the Lincoln assassination and American Civil War as counter history. The novel’s troupe of modern-day actors visits Surratt Boardinghouse, Appomattox, the Garrett Farm (where assassin Booth was killed), the Navy Yard (where four of the conspirators were hanged) and, of course, Ford’s Theatre itself. They reenact such iconic scenes, hyping the theatrical aspects of each.
Along its rowdy and outrageous way, Clickety Clack upends binaries of history, race and gender.
The Lifeguard Murders: A South Beach Story is all about streaks and repetition, about unstoppable routines, especially the curious habit of killing. Five lifeguards meet their deaths along these shores. As a consequence of the murders, once-thriving South Beach quickly sheds its glitz and glamour. Panicky tourists flee, reducing the trendy setting to its quintessential components of surf, sand and sun. A jogging club, led by streak runner The Winged Mercury (Merc), suddenly dominates the beachscape. The members relate the novel’s events in a collective voice, drawing on their many eyes and ears. In the telling, they confess a myriad of obsessive-compulsive disorders: hoarding, tapping, repeating, hair-swallowing, counting, kleptomania, pyromania, Tourette’s syndrome, cleanliness mania, blame mongering, anorexia, bulimia and addiction.
Legendary Cuban general Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez is tried as a traitor to the Revolution. He meets his death before the firing squad. Who will get to write the history of his rise and fall? Can anyone objectively record the story of the great, yet controversial Ochoa? Who controls destiny? Who decides whose point of view is to be accepted as the truth? Who writes the history books? It sometimes depends on who is speaking.
In Lee Williams’s novel Author of Destiny, we encounter myriad of points of view concerning the late general, told from nearly every conceivable angle by would-be shapers of history who each have their own agendas. So many voices swirl together, clashing in contradiction, until the truth becomes secondary to those who deign to speak it.