A Pip for the ’60s
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Published in: May-June 2022 issue.


by Joseph Allen Boone
Eyewear publishing. 372 pages, $26.


JOSEPH ALLEN BOONE’S debut novel, Furnace Creek, is a contemporary queering of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations in which the author transposes key elements of the classic narrative to 20th-century America, centering the story upon a gay stand-in for the more conventional Pip. Boone, a professor of English and gender studies at USC, clearly knows whereof he speaks. In such scholarly works as Tradition Counter Tradition, Libidinal Currents and The Homoerotics of Orientalism, Boone displays a wide-ranging knowledge of the novel and how it reflects—and sometimes influences—social codes around gender and sexuality.

            Furnace Creek opens in the 1960s when its protagonist and narrator, Newt Seward, is a teenager living a fairly sheltered life in Virginia. We first meet Newt when he’s lying beside the eponymous creek satisfying himself

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 Lewis DeSimone’s latest novel, an homage to E.M. Forster, is titled Channeling Morgan.