Manhattan, 1963: weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy, fresh-faced Raymond Wallace lands in the New York Times newsroom on a three-month bursary from Cambridge University. He soon discovers his elusive boss, Bukowski, is being covertly blackmailed by an estranged wife, and that he himself is to assist the straight-laced Doty on an article about the ‘explosion of overt homosexuality’ in the city. On an undercover assignment, a secret world is revealed to Raymond: a world in which he need no longer pretend to be something or someone he cannot be; a world in which he meets Joey.
Like so many men of his time and of his kind, Raymond faces a choice between conformity, courage and compartmentalisation. The decision he makes will ricochet destructively through lives and decades until—in another time, another city; in Paris, 2003—Raymond’s son Joe finally meets Joey. And the healing begins.
I Am not Raymond Wallace is a multi-stranded story of queer redemption spanning multiple generations, told with precision-tooled prose, sharply-imagined settings and compassionately-observed characterisation.
‘A sensual, moving story of masks and identities, across two continents and four decades... a strikingly confident debut novel.’ SAMUEL WEST
Taking as his starting-point a real-life moment of queer history from 1960s New York, Sam Kenyon spins a marvellously stylish and often unexpected story.’ NEIL BARTLETT
‘A joyous literary triumph that moved me to tears.’ JACK FRITSCHER
‘A triumph. A primer for all ages.’ MURRAY MELVIN