Warlock: A Novel of Possession

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Belhue Press, 2001 - Fiction - 219 pages
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“There are people all over the world, Allen, who’ll sell anything to anyone. You must know that. We use those people; it’s as simple as that. . . . I can’t tell you any more.”

from Warlock, a new novel by Perry Brass, author of Angel Lust, The Harvest, and How to Survive Your Own Gay Life.


                  “Submission, passion, power, and the kind of unleashed gay sexuality that I like to write about — these were the elements I wanted in my new book, Warlock, A Novel of Possession,” says gay poet and novelist Perry Brass. “I also wanted to create characters that leap off the page. I think that’s one of the problems with so many gay books — the characters seem interchangeable. They never have to work hard at anything. Life for them seems like a big cocktail party, with a play room attached. I wanted to write about the struggle for survival that so many of us have — and that we try to transcend with the special gifts we bring to our own lives. I also wanted to tell a hell of a story, which Warlock does.”

                  And what is that?

                  “Two men meet under fairly common circumstances — in a popular gay bath house in Manhattan. One of them, Allen Barrow, is sexually inhibited, has a small penis that embarrasses him, is shy, soft-spoken, polite, and has a low-paying job in a bank. His whole life will change when he meets Destry Powars.

                  “Powars is, indeed, ‘destiny’s child’: he is larger than life, a true urban cowboy, sexually wild, smart, uncouth, vulgar — from generations of footloose losers. He has reinvented himself over and over again and has become spectacularly rich and successful. He has learned the language that moves money, the language of power, force, success at any means. But who has taught him this, and at what price? The price is his own goodness, his own real soul – and he can find this again, only by merging with Allen.”

                  Warlock is a book of hypnotic splendor and power, full of gorgeous eroticism and total suspense. If you ever wanted to find your own “man of destiny,” who will pull you away from the problems of your life, who will satisfy your every wish — Warlock will tell you how to find and recognize him, as well as make you see the ancient and hard work of warlocks.

                  “I think,” Perry Brass says, “the message of Warlock is that the business of business is . . . often evil. Just how evil it is, I write about in Warlock. Many of the excesses of the last ten years are coming back to roost. I’m glad that I have published a very powerful gay book that deals with so much of what we have seen, but in a way that is both entertaining and very moving. The real message of this book is our own submission to love and sexual fulfilllment — how much we really want this and how difficult it is to achieve, as much as we want it. That is a message I have written about many times, but I’m glad to do it in this really unique way in this book.”


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About the author (2001)

Originally from Savannah, GA, poet, novelist, publisher, playwright, and activist Perry Brass has published 16 books, 6 of which have been finalist for Lambda Literary Awards; he has also won 4 “Ippy” Awards from Independent Publisher, and his latest book, King of Angels, a Southern gay Jewish coming-of-age novel set in Savannah in 1963, the year of John Kennedy’s assassination has recently been named a finalist for a Ferro-Grumley Gay and Lesbian Fiction Award. He has been involved in the gay rights movement since November of 1969, when he co-edited Come Out!, the world's first gay liberation newspaper. In 1972, with two friends he started the Gay Men's Health Project Clinic, the first clinic for gay men on the East Coast, still operating as New York’s Callen-Lorde Clinic. The Health Project Clinic, operating from a basement in New York’s West Village, strongly advocated for the use of condoms by gay men a decade before the first advent of AIDS, even though most gay men still considered them to be a birth control device. In 1984, his play Night Chills, one of the first to deal with the AIDS crisis, won a Jane Chambers International Gay Playwriting Award. As a poet, his collaborations with composers include the much-performed “All the Way Through Evening,” a cycle of 5 “nocturnes” in reaction to the AIDS epidemic, set by the late Chris DeBlasio; “The Angel Voices of Men” set by Ricky Ian Gordon; “Three Brass Songs,” with composer-pianist Fred Hersch; "The Restless Yearning Towards My Self," with opera composer Paula Kimper; and “12 Musical Figures,” set by Gerald Busby (score for Robert Altman’s film Three Women and Paul Taylor’s Runes). With his partner Hugh, he started Belhue in 1991. Brass’s work often deals with that intersection of sexuality, spirituality and personal politics that came directly, openly, out of his involvement with the radical queer politics of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This intersection was deemed “impossible” by many academics and even gay activists of the early years of the movement, who could accept one but none of the other elements that now make up the lgbt movement. He is a founder and coordinator of the New York Rainbow Book Fair, the first LGBT book fair in the U.S, and the biggest LGBT book event in the nation.


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