Accomplished poet and author moving into YA: Linmark has published two well received poetry collections, as well as the novel Rolling the R’s, which has been a constant pick in college curriculums, as well as poetry and Asian studies tracks.
Educational opportunities: Linmark’s previous books are taught often at universities, and he’s a regular visiting professor nationwide. He’s already done class visits to high schools in NY for his adult books—this is a ripe opportunity for educational buy-in and backlist. Plus, the book is a perfect tie in to curriculums on Oscar Wilde and poetry.
An effortlessly diverse LGBTQ romance from a diverse author: Linmark is Filipino but has lived in Hawaii half his adult life—lots of opportunities to pitch to Pacific Islander organizations and South Asian American groups. As a gay author, he has written a story with a cast of characters ranging in sexuality, race, and gender who are written with sensitivity and ease—from the gay protagonist, Ken, to his friends, classmates, and teacher.
Poetry is on the rise: Poetry—including bestselling titles Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, and salt by Nayyirah Waheed—has gained popularity in the teen and young adult market. The poetry interspersed throughout The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart possesses a similar poignancy and centers on heartache, fitting in, and other relatable struggles.
“A sweet love story that celebrates diversity of its characters and culture…everything, from Ran’s compulsory military service to the banning of books, feels authentic and heightens the stakes of the burgeoning gay romance…[and] the boys’ romance builds in a way that feels natural. An unabashed love letter to Oscar Wilde, Cole Porter, and the arts’ ability to give voice to human emotion.” —Kirkus
Linmark’s novel is definitely offbeat and wild(e)ly imaginative, inviting long thoughts about the uncertainty of love, with its wonderment and hummingbird heartbeats. Beautifully written, sad as a Wilde fairy tale, and home to highly empathic characters, the novel is a rich reading experience that would make the ineffable Oscar proud. —Booklist
“The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart is a big-hearted book that uses a beautiful mixture of prose, poetry, and haikus to tell a story that—to paraphrase the words of the book’s patron saint Oscar Wilde—always keeps love in its heart.” —Abdi Nazemian author of Like a Love Story and The Authentics
“A lyrical meditation on finding oneself in friendship, literature, love, and heartbreak. As surreal as it is real, as beautiful as it is painful, as playful as it is wise.” —Randy Ribay, author of Patron Saints of Nothing
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