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In Joe Baumann’s newest collection Where Can I Take You When There’s Nowhere to Go, queer men explore their sense of who they are and what they want, often in worlds that are tilted askew from what we might expect.
Thirteen surreal short stories utilize the strange and the bizarre as a backdrop for explorations of loneliness, queer coming-of-age, self-discovery, and loss. In “We Adore These Bodies Until They Are Gone,” people evaporate when suffering isolation and directionless; in “Happy Birthdays,” characters transform into different ages when they consume particular kinds of cake; and in the titular story, a pair of lonely teenagers come together at a party after one of them gifts the other with a small cloud he has spun out of his own hands.
Baumann’s tender vignettes of love, anger, grief, and desire are a stunning ode to the places and people that can give us solace within an absurd and chaotic world.
Publication Date: 10/24/2023
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