Cape of Good Hope
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Published in: May-June 2020 issue.


Later:  My Life at the Edge of the World
by Paul Lisicky
Graywolf Press. 240 pages, $16.



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            Later is as much about a place and a way of being as it is about a period in a specific person’s life. In this elegiac memoir, Lisicky examines the energy, the dreams, and the foibles of this version of himself from a quarter-century ago, and in the process reveals deep truths that resonate beyond his particular story.

            At its heart, Later is about finding hope and purpose in dark times. When death is so close, we are all at the edge of the world. And yet, this very danger conjures passion and fills every moment with meaning. A lot of the book is taken up with a kind of sexual awakening, as Lisicky, free from the constraints of his past, embraces his sexuality in the more liberal atmosphere of Provincetown. The book vibrates around the tension of the life force, asserting itself in the shadow of AIDS—sex and death intertwined, as they still are for a generation that became unable to think of one without the other.


Lewis DeSimone’s most recent novel, Channeling Morgan, is set largely in Provincetown.