Start: 5:30 pm
Michael Graves and David Pratt authors respectively of Dirty One, a novel (Chelsea Station, $16 pb). Set in the 1980's, Dirty One follows a pack of adolescent characters who live in the acid-drenched, suburban town known as Leominster, Massachusetts-the plastics capital of America, as well as the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed. In the story, "From Kissing," a sixth-grader named Butch has his first homosexual tongue kiss during a monster truck show and, after a bout of the flu, he is convinced he has somehow contracted AIDS. With "Curls and Curls," nine-year-old Lee hates his kinky, brown head of hair and is seemingly possessed with magic, casting spells to unfurl his evil tresses. In "A Snow Day," eleven-year-old Cassidy longs to be the next mega-watt, teen pop star, but is forced to deal with her crazy classmates, her gay father, and her dog that continually vomits in the driveway. "Do It" follows a tween named Denise as she seeks her first sexual experience with a boyfriend who can never remain erect. Denise strives for high school greatness while her gay best friend is crowned king of all local paper routes. These selections join five more, constructing the remarkable world of Dirty One. David Pratt’s My Movie: Stories (Chelsea House, $18 pb). From the award-winning author of Bob the Book, My Movie showcases the remarkable range and versatility of David Pratt’s short fiction, including stories previously published in The James White Review, Velvet Mafia, Christopher Street, Chelsea Station, and other periodicals, Web sites, and anthologies. The impact of memories thematically dominates the fourteen stories included in this imaginative collection, from the coming-of-age title story of a young boy’s code of secret languages to the magical, speculative world of “Ulmus Americana,” where trees yearn for love. Film and video are at the heart of many of these stories, including “Another Country,” about a woman who enters a fictitious land created by her son and his boyhood friend for their backyard home movies, and the brilliantly conceived “Calvin Gets Sucked In,” where a man is consumed, literally, by a porn video, with hilarious and disturbing results. Pratt also turns an unflinching camera eye on the realities and mishaps of gay life, from a hook-up with a crack addict to the painful and poignant struggles with illness, loss, and mortality. Haunting, funny, surreal, and heartbreaking, My Movie brilliantly documents how we come to terms with being queer.