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Published in: March-April 2009 issue.


Drawn From LifeDrawn From Life
by Jonathan Strong
Quale Press. 294 pages, $17.


JONATHAN STRONG is a Boston-based author with close to a dozen novels and short-story collections to his credit. At the age of 24, while a senior at Harvard, he made a name for himself with his first collection, Tike and Five Stories (1969), garnering numerous national prizes and a comparison to J. D. Salinger. Drawn from Life is a quiet, subdued reflection on a gay character named Peter Dabney, whose inner life is filled with emotional turmoil even if all appears calm on the surface. Born in the mid-1940’s in the Midwest to a proudly liberal and non-religious middle-class family, Peter spends his childhood obsessed with cars, and his superior talent in drawing them leads to a career in art. In an unusual, unexpected, and timely coincidence, some of those very cars appeared in the Postal Service’s “50’s Fins and Chrome” commemorative stamp series at the end of 2008.

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