A daring foray into the groundbreaking genre of autobiographical fiction
Sad Old Faggot is the absorbing, sometimes embarrassing, always entertaining story of a lonely, self-obsessed, selfish, deluded, impotent 62-year-old gay man named Sky Gilbert who — despite his best intentions — cannot help but become a stereotype.
Sky’s main claim to fame is founding Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 1979. But since leaving Buddies, he’s fallen on hard times. Sky Gilbert is no longer even remotely famous. He has to fight off his own bitterness as audiences for his plays steadily dwindle. Theatre people dismiss his work as old news and point to the fact that he teaches at the University of Guelph as proof: his descent into academia clearly signals his failure as an artist.
All along the way, the book questions our truths and celebrates their mutability. What is really true about each of us? What do we actually know about ourselves? And how much, it asks, of our own personal truth is based on fact — and how much is rooted in fiction?
Sky Gilbert is a writer, director, teacher, and drag queen extraordinaire. He was co-founder and artistic director of Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for 17 years. He has had nearly 40 plays produced and written six critically acclaimed novels and three award-winning poetry collections. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
“The indefatigable Gilbert — co-founder of the Toronto gay theatre company Buddies in Bad Times, author of 60 plays, seven novels — joins Karl Ove Knausgaard and Sheila Heti with his take on autobiographical fiction . . . Gilbert, at 62, is in good form, entertaining, brave and deliberately shocking.” — Toronto Star
“[A] strange, prurient, and frequently hilarious book that straddles, no pun intended, the banalities of the everyday (relationship woes, self-doubt and loathing, insatiable desire) and the theatrics of farce.” — Hamilton Review of Books
“As for the state of gay literature today, Gilbert — whose writing in Sad Old Faggot remains as mutinous, humorous, and articulate as his public persona — encourages young writers to take risks.” — Quill & Quire
“Gilbert is abrasive and unapologetic, and anyone who’s experienced his work or personality knows this already. If you’re up for that, you may find something special buried underneath all the grump.” — Broken Pencil
“[Sad Old Faggot] is an exhilarating experiment that rewards the reader with laughter, anger, and a sense of just how important Gilberts’ work is.” — Drew Rowsome’s blog
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