Mark Merlis (March 9, – August 15, ) was an American writer and health policy Works[edit]. American Studies (); An Arrow’s Flight () – also published as Pyrrhus (); Man About Town (); JD (). Mark Merlis, novelist who explored gay life in 20th-century America, dies at with the publication of his first novel, “American Studies,” in Called “an intelligent, compassionate and moving novel” by Dale Peck, this first novel by Mark Merlis is back in print to illuminate a world that for many has never .

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Refresh and try again. Sparse, thoughtful, raw; Mr.

Mark Merlis

A master at pacing, Merlis moves the reader from past to distant past to present, progressing story lines along several layers of narrative. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read this book. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this amedican. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon.

And there is the further distraction of the patient in the next bed, a silent youth who arouses feelings Reeve has vowed not to have any more, the dangerous longing for the sweetness and menace of straight men. A novel that can sgudies read again and again and reads wonderfully aloud too.

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Both moving and funny, American Studies captures the spirit of struggle and triumph in 20th century gay America. May 16, Todd rated it it was amazing Shelves: Many beautiful parts of this writing that can only be felt through gay experience, and I look forward to reading more from Mark Merlis.


Next to him is a young man who had merlsi thumb severed. It’s a curious tale within a tale, but also profound in its traces of hope amid the misery; a life wasted on regret, his teac Utterly captivating for its longing and aching disappointment, Merlis novel nevertheless displays hope amid dangerous times for a gay man dealing with his own hustler-abused closeted life.

AMERICAN STUDIES by Mark Merlis | Kirkus Reviews

What’s worse than being a Marxist kark during McCarthyism? Sex for gay men at that time was often furtive and fleeting. He makes it clear that gay identity has a temporal quality. Classifications Library of Congress PS July 21, History. The talent of Merlis is in the way he managed to show us that war raging in the tiny trench between two hospital beds. Tsudies the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Kark soon enough my shame takes over and I conjure instead a beam of disdain angling at me.

Some of the author’s phrases and ideas stuck to me like splinters and I liked turning chuncks of the book around in my head after I’d finished it. See all 32 reviews. Very intelligent and complete description of the repression lived by two generations mrlis the first half of the 20th century. Funny, knowing, wry and, at the same time, as honest as he can be for the first time in his life about his own and his older friend’s magk.


Unfortunately the novel never really rises above a certain adequateness, much like it’s protaganist. The book is both simple and complex – simple in the sense that it’s basically the story of a few days in the life of a gay man in the hospital, but complex in that, through flashbacks, it reveals the life experiences, thoughts, and actions of both the main characters – all done in a sensitive, sophisticated manner.

Merlis currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his partner Bob, and continues to work as an independent health policy consultant.

One of the finest first novels to appear in many a moon. The plot and characters were cliche and at times boring.

Meaning, Reeves isn’t this muscular gym addicted, Will and Grace type of gay man. All of this is intermingled with a no less detailed recollection of the night that landed the narrator in his current predicament, on the verge of losing his job and his apartment.

You can now embed Open Library books on your website! His sickbed reveries are about the man, Slater, who was his teacher and, briefly, his lover at boarding school after World War II. No eBook available Amazon.