Fall 2010

Thank you very much for visiting my Web site.  I’m delighted you’ve come to take a look.  Please consider finding and reading some – or all – of these books, and then passing the word on to others who might be interested.  If you have trouble locating any of them, online or in your local bookstore, please let me know at kailuum@oberlin.net.

As I think back over the five books I’ve published so far – four novels and a collection of short stories and a novella – I am struck by how timely and relevant all of them still are.  My most recent novel, called A Few Hints and Clews (The Haworth Press, 2007), is a fictionalized version of my own life, the life of my partner of thirty-five years, Ted Nowick, and our life together.  It also goes back in time to the lives of our parents, as a way to show where we both came from.  Its very definite timeliness comes from its depiction of what is clearly a marriage, in everything but the legal designation still denied us, and therefore places it squarely in the middle of the current debate over same-sex marriage.  I’m pleased to say that this book has been very well received and was a finalist for a 2008 Lambda Literary Award.

My third novel, Whose Eye Is on Which Sparrow? (The Haworth Press, 2004), won the 2005 Independent Publisher Book Award for the best book of the year with a gay or lesbian theme, including both fiction and nonfiction.  It was also named the “Best Gay Romance of 2004” by the InsightOut book-of-the-month club and was featured in their January 2005 “Best Books of the Year” catalog.  This is the story of an inter-racial love affair between a young white doctor, married with two children, who unexpectedly falls in love with a new patient, a young black man.  As they struggle to find a way to love each other, they keep running up against the undercurrents of racism that are still prevalent in our society, as recent events have made so painfully evident.

My second novel, All We Have Is Now, was first published in hardback by St. Martin’s Press in 2002 and then republished in paperback in 2006 by The Haworth Press.  This is the story of a seemingly inexplicable hate crime (still too much a part of our lives today).  It follows the lover left behind as he tries to come to terms with his loss.  Quotes on the cover call this book “immensely moving and beautifully written,” “heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting,” and a story that “probes the human heart and the very nature of love.”

My first novel, The Innocent (Fithian Press, 1997), is based on my experiences as an Army Intelligence officer in Vietnam in 1966-1967.  The echoes you will find here of our recent catastrophe in Iraq and the ongoing one in Afghanistan could have come from this week’s news.  And the constant fear the book’s protagonist has to live with is, to my mind, a strong indictment of the military’s current, misguided “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

I hope you will also want to read a talk I gave here in Oberlin in the spring of 2005, called “A Vietnam Veteran Looks at Iraq,” published in the Summer/Fall 2005 issue of The Puckerbrush Review,based in Orono, Maine.  This essay is a powerful indictment of that war, from my own perspective as someone who served in Vietnam at the height of the war there.  Although the process of getting us out of Iraq is now underway, I believe this essay remains an important contribution to the ongoing debate – and to the cause of peace and sanity.

My collection of short stories and a novella, called Revelation and Other Stories, was published by the Puckerbrush Press in 2002.  The novella, “Revelation,” which comes at the end of this collection, explores the anguish and indecision a young minister faces when he suddenly, out of nowhere, falls in love with a member of his congregation, a young man who teaches third grade.  Their painful journey through bigotry and hatred toward some kind of understanding is, sadly, still as current as recent headlines.
One more thing:  I Do/I Don’t: Queers on Marriage is an anthology published by Suspect Thoughts Press in San Francisco, to which I contributed an essay called “The Story of an Almost Marriage.”  This book won the 2005 Lambda Literary Award for best nonfiction anthology of the year.

At other places on this site, you will find a biography, selected reviews of my books, and an email link that allows you to be in touch with me directly.  I hope you’ll want to do this, to tell me your reactions to these books and to ask any questions you may have – about the books, about the writing of them, about writing in general, anything you might want to have a discussion about.  I will answer each message as quickly as I can.  I’ve made some wonderful long-distance friends through this process.

Thank you again for the interest that brought you here.  Please come again!

Happy reading,