Chapters and Chats Reviews “Songs for the New Depression”
Songs for the New Depression by Kergan Edwards-Stout (Circumspect Press 2011)
This is an incredibly important book. I was raked over the coals with the raw emotion that Kergan Edwards-Stout creates in the telling of this story. You can feel the anguish of someone wanting, needing to be loved; and the pain one wishes to inflict, at their failure to find what they are looking for.
Kergan Edwards-Stout writes his debut novel ‘Songs for the New Depression’ with the experience of someone who has lost a partner to AIDS. Given his knowledge, his readers will come away shaken by the painful and often graphic memoir of Gabriel Travers; a fictional character, as he reflects on his life.
From his deathbed, Gabe tells his story broken down into three decades; 1995, as he comes to terms with his choices in life, the 1980s, when sex was his way of looking for love and AIDS became an ugly result of free love, back to his tumultuous youth in 1976, when he begins his journey with reckless abandon, through the gay scene after experiencing a broken heart.
Given that the book deals with such a difficult topic, Edwards-Stout manages to lighten the mood of what could be an oppressive book, by injecting humor and light-hearted moments. Regaling us with stories of Gabe’s relationships with his unlikely friend Clare; one of his only friends high school, his mother Gloria, who is exploring her new found freedom and finally the man who becomes his partner guiding him through the final journey of his life.
Kergan Edwards-Stout is an award-winning director and author, whose work has appeared in a number of publications, including the Huffington Post, Bilerico Project, LGBTQ Nation, American Short Fiction and the health magazine SexVibe. He has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign as a “2011 Father of the Year”, and blogs regularly at http://kerganedwards-stout.com. He is currently at work on a memoir.
This book, Winner-2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award – LGBTQ Shortlist – 2011 Independent Literary Award – LGBTQ, is one that everyone should read; in fact it should be mandatory. It is eye-opening to the struggles a gay person endures to be accepted in a judgemental society. The book is incredibly well-written, so much so that you can understand why Edwards-Stout has been published in many periodicals.
When you read ‘Songs for the New Depression’ be prepared with a box of Kleenex and a free schedule as you will be so engrossed you won’t want to be disturbed; the read is that good.
ISBN: 9780983983705 (paperback) 9780983983712 (hardcover) 9780983983729 (eBook) Genre: Fiction (270 pages) Publisher: Circumspect Press Price: $15.99/$23.99/$9.99