Jack of Hearts: 2

Front Cover
Dutton, Jan 1, 1995 - Fiction - 214 pages
1 Review
Now, in Jack of Hearts, Joseph Hansen brings Nathan back for a second tender, funny, achingly truthful coming-of-age novel. The year is 1941, the place a small California foothill town. Nathan, at age seventeen, bewildered by sex but sure he wants to be a writer, falls in among a little-theater crowd he hopes will stage his first play, and learns from them painful lessons in growing up.
From Nathan's ineffectual parents, Alma the fortune-teller and Frank the out-of-work musician, to Kate McCracken, the raffish cook at Moon's cafe, where the journalism and theater students gather for breakfast; from Kenneth Stone, the lonely teacher whispered to be a Nazi spy, to wealthy Desmond Foley, in whose sunlit swimming pool it is rumored handsome boys swim naked on weekends, Jack of Hearts teems with lively characters, seen against a lovingly detailed background of times long past.
"A sweet read," the Baltimore Alternative called Living Upstairs. "Nathan is a perfect, whole character... a remarkable achievement." In Jack of Hearts, you will come to know Nathan even better. As a good many readers already have, you just may fall in love with him.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This prequel to the Lambda Awardwinning Living Upstairs (1993) finds 17-year-old Nathan Reed struggling on familiar ground- -with his family loyalties, his sexuality, and his vocation as a writer ... Read full review

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User Review  - Bembo - LibraryThing

Jack of Hearts is set in 1941 in a small town in California. The central character, Nathan, is seventeen years old and in his last year of high school. He has a talent for writing, and is keen to have ... Read full review


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About the author (1995)

Joseph Hansen was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, on July 19, 1923. He attended Pasasdena City College. Hansen's fiction began to appear in the 60s. He published under the pseudonym James Colton because of the homosexual characters and themes of his work. He had published five novels and a collection of short stories when "Fadeout," the first of the Brandstetter mystery novels, was released. It is this series of 12 novels, which was published from 1970 to 1991 for which Hansen was most well known. Hansen wrote almost 40 books, which included novels and a series of semi-autobiographical works. He also taught fiction workshops, published poems in The New Yorker and produced a local radio show in the 60s called "Homosexuality Today." In 1965 he founded the pioneering homosexual journal Tangents. In 1974 Hansen was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 he won the lifetime achievement award from the Private Eye Writers of America. Joseph Hansen died on November 24, 2004 at the age of 81 from heart failure.

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