David Pratt:

1971, I read a book review about two boys: good twin, evil twin. My parents, unknowing, let me have it. An anonymous, insinuating voice, confined to a moldering house, told of a bully impaled on a pitchfork, a hermaphrodite, a stolen baby.

I was angry enough to impale bullies, mesmerized by bodies of both sexes, abandoned by a married sibling with a child. Thomas Tryon’s The Other was not “gay.” The boys were prepubescent; they barely touched. It was marketed as horror and became a best seller, a gay novel coded and unacknowledged, barely in print now, as good as lost.

David Pratt has published short fiction in Christopher Street, The James White Review, Blithe House Quarterly, Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, Velvet Mafia, Lodestar Quarterly, and in the anthologies Men Seeking Men, His3 and Fresh Men 2. He has directed and performed his own work for the theater, including appearances in New York City at the Cornelia Street Café, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, the Flea Theater, Theater of the Elephant, and the New York International Fringe Festival. David holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School.

Photo: © Eva Mueller

  • Growing Old With Grace

One Response to “My First Queer Book? ‘The Other’”

  1. David Ehrenstein 15 October 2010 at 8:51 AM #

    The book may not have been “gay” but Tom Tryon was. That’s the reason he abandoned a successful, but increasingly difficult acting career — for an even more successful writing career. back in the ealry 70’s when I worked for the Metropolitan Musum of Art I would frequently see Tryon and his love Cal Culver (“Casey Donovan’ of “Boys in the Sand” fame) and their friend Richard Deacon (“Mel Cooley” of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”) who would give them guided tours of the great works of art.

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