Christopher DiRaddo (Montreal)
“I first read Andrew Holleran at gay camp. This was back in the early naughts when about twenty queer friends and I would get together every Labour Day for a weekend of camping, revelry, and relaxation. Looking back, it still feels magical. It was on one of those trips that I first read Dancer from the Dancer (or rather was read to, paddling my friend John around the lake). There was something about the book and its playful opening — a series of witty yet profound letters written back and forth between two old friends — that made me think of my own life and friendships. The two spoke of love and sex and death — of things both silly and essential. I would devour the rest of the book (and everything else he wrote) on land.
“Dancer from the Dancer was a significant work for me. I was always hungry for queer voices in literature, but there was something about this particular novel that spoke to me. The book is about gay life in Manhattan in the 1970s, but Holleran could have easily been writing about my Saturday night. The book contains such great pieces of wisdom about queer life that I feel like it should be required reading. And if I even come close to what he does with his sentences, I would die a happy man.”
Christopher DiRaddo has published four short stories in anthologies by Arsenal Pulp Press, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning First Person Queer. His first novel, The Geography of Pluto, was published by Cormorant in May 2014.