novels by Jim Provenzano

 

Now I'm Here, Message of Love, Every Time I Think of You, Cyclizen, Monkey Suits, and PINS

Now I'm Here

Beautiful Dreamer Press

“It’s people like Mama and me, I guess, who like to make the regular happenings in our town –like what happened to Joshua and David– sound like myth. There are those who doubt the veracity of my words. But I know. I was there.”
 

So begins Eric Gottlund, whose evocative story of his friends, Joshua Evans and David Koenig, is both pointed and poignant. In the small town of Serene, Ohio, in the 1970s and '80s, the two boys first collide in a playground fight, but reconnect in high school, Joshua a budding piano prodigy, and David a pumpkin farmer’s son. Enduring religious intolerance, small-mindedness, “rehabilitation therapy,” and eventually AIDS, through their love for each other and rock music ­–the English band Queen in particular­– Joshua and David breathe life into their home town, if only for a while. Their separation and eventual reunion exemplify true courage and devotion with a quiet passion.

"An epic story, a tale as captivating as a favorite piece of music.”

 – Mark Abrasion, author of Minnesota Boy and Sex, Drugs & Disco

"Here is a novel of such sweep and breadth that to call it simply a love story is inadequate, even while the love of David and Joshua at the heart of the book resonates so deeply that I could not stop reading their tale. Provenzano is one of our masters; like his character Joshua he is a kind of musician. The instrument he plays on is the heart, and the story of these men rings true for all of us who lived through these years." 

– Jim Grimsley, author of Dream Boys and Winter Birds

“A haunting page turner; Provenzano fearlessly navigates, with wit, unflinching candor and a detective’s tenacity, that deepest mystery: first love, with all its euphoria, madness and wreckage. Gorgeously written, Now I’m Here stands alongside the best of Edmund White and Andrew Holleran. I could spend a year with each sentence.”

– Adam Tendler, pianist, composer, author of 88x50: A Memoir of Sexual Discovery, Modern Music and the United State of America

Paperback release date: September 19, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-0998126265

 

Kindle release date: August 28, 2018

ASIN: B07CYXPMTT

Message of Love

ISBN-13: 978-0615669243

Lambda Literary Award Finalist - Gay Romance 

In Jim Provenzano's sequel to the 2012 Lambda Literary Award-winner Every Time I Think of You,

the love between two young men is put to a test. Reid Conniff and Everett Forrester have moved to Philadelphia, where college life brings them closer together. But Everett, a recovering paraplegic, is pressured by his mother to transfer to the University of Pennsylvania, while Reid stays at Temple University. Their once long-distance love becomes a cross-town romance.

 

A twist of floral fate finds them an apartment more like a home. Between disability protests, impulsive road trips and despite a few affairs, their relationship grows. But as the early 1980s continue, a spreading crisis approaches, coming into their lives with a strange intimacy, via that one mysterious Polaroid of Everett, the one that Reid never dared to ask about.

“A brilliant retelling of young love and the transformations it undergoes as lovers grow from adolescence to adulthood.”                                                        – Philadelphia Gay News



 

“An earnest, heartfelt and refreshing continuation of a young couple’s adventures that leaves the reader excited, amused and inspired."                                    – Edge Media



 

“Pure genius on Provenzano’s part. I’ll say it again: his writing is gorgeous and sweeping and strong.”

                                                                                                        – Boys in Our Books



 

“A wonderfully satisfying and uplifting novel, certainly one of the best of 2014.” ­

                                                                                                        – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words


Every Time I Think of You

ISBN-13: 978-1463778644

Lambda Literary Award Winner - Gay Romance 

 

After an abrupt encounter in a small woods of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Reid Conniff, a shy and studious high school distance runner, becomes swept up in the adventurous world of Everett Forrester, a privileged and capricious charmer. Overcoming the distance of their separate schools, parental interference, and a nearly fatal accident, the two young men find a way to be together in spite of their own doubts and fears. Set in 1979-1980, Every Time I Think of You recalls a halcyon era in America's past with a personal voice.

"Their love is a force of nature." -  Lambda Literary Review

“The romance, simple and pure, yet heated and passionate, is strikingly genuine.” - Edge on the Net

 

“A remarkable, uplifting story.” ­– Windy City Times

 

“Provenzano’s characters are rich and complex. His sense of pace and plotting are dead on, and his prose is straightforward and never showy. It’s a well-told tale whose aim to inform as well as entertain certainly hits the mark.” – Out in Print

 

“A beautiful story of friendship, devotion and love.”– Echo Magazine

Cyclizen

ISBN-13: 978-1430322337

Cyclizen is the tale of a bicycle courier, living in San Francisco, recounting his life in New York City during the heyday of ACT UP and other protest groups. Provenzano accomplishes the seemingly miraculous task of spinning a yarn that is simultaneously meandering and as on-point as an arrow loosed from an over-taut bow. Readers can never be sure where this book is heading, but it's one hell of a trip from point A to point B, filled with rich vocabulary and occasional forays into clever wordplay."                              – Gay People's Chronicle

“From the ashes of office temp arises a courier on two wheels in search of the man who got away. As he whizzes up and down the thoroughfares of Manhattan, fleeing his past, sizing up his future, he careens headlong into lust’s pothole. Watch our hero as he falls under the spell of a dashing and dastardly inside trader. How far will the seduction go? Only the Cyclizen knows.” 

                                                                     – Ian Philips, author of See Dick Deconstruct

 

“Juggling AIDS activism, corporate and individual greed, all through the travails of a bike messenger in search of love and belonging, Cyclizen is noteworthy for its fine characterization and poignant lyricism. Provenzano explores love and friendship with insight and nuance, marking his work as unique, vital and significant.” 

                                                                     – Trebor Healey, author of Through It Came Bright Colors

Monkey Suits

ISBN-13: 978-0595282562

“Jim Provenzano’s brilliant novel Monkey Suits captures perfectly the Reagan Age as it examines the lives of gay cater-waiters working the Metropolitan Museum’s swank parties while getting politicized.”   – Author David Ehrenstein, Bay Area Reporter

 

“A nostalgic mix of sex and melodrama, Monkey Suits is a fun read, jammed with in-jokes, intrigue and involving characters. It’s those details and finishing touches that make the book a sultry page-turner. Better than most gay novels, and infinitely better dressed.”

Torso Magazine

 

“A wit that equals Maupin at his best, using the figure of the cater waiter as his Everyman… A thoroughly entertaining and well-written story filled with well defined characters, clever plot twists and subtle humor... light-handed irony and a sharp eye for dark humor around the edges.”   – Independent Writers Forum

 

“A nostalgic Manhattan-set novel about unfocused youth, mercurial boyfriends, and the early days of activism and anger. Part sneering and part servile, a nervy imbalance gives this novel a subversive, comic clout.”– Richard LaBonté, Bookmarks

“Isn't it interesting how cater-waiters are almost exclusively gay? But I digress. The characters in the novel Monkey Suits are servants whose social status makes them acutely aware of the line of demarcation that has been drawn between the upper class and everyone else. Evolving simultaneously with this theme is an investigation of high society and downtown AIDS activism.“ - NEXT Magazine

PINS

ISBN-13: 978-0967238203

“What starts off as yet another coming-of-age tale of gay youth in suburbia takes a dramatic turn and careens into a full-fledged miracle of writing.”       – NY Blade News

 

“Fully captures the reader ... a descriptive writer of the Ernest Hemingway model; terse, stripped down, and to the point.”    – Lambda Book Report

 

“Provenzano has a swift and flexible style that cuts against sentiment and reveals, in moments of grace, something like true feeling. He’s also funny. He has an ear for teenage banter, and he’s tartly lyrical about Jersey towns, Italian families and homemade mix tapes with titles like GRAPPLE and AURGH. Most urgent, he shows how gay bashing is still an outlet for kids who grew up in the so-called gay ‘90s.”    The Advocate

 

“PINS is an auspicious debut, sort of a Catcher in the Rye about disillusioned gay jocks. It firmly establishes Jim Provenzano as an important new voice in early 21st-century fiction.”  – Torso

 

“The author brings evident personal knowledge and a crisp, uncluttered prose style to this coming-out saga.”  – East Bay Express

 

“A brilliant piece of fiction… The plot is very complex with many layers, each well-developed and passionately expressed. No sensitive reader will make it to the end without giggling, anxiety, joy and tears.”     – Gay People’s Chronicle