A class-savvy novel of queer party scenes, of complicated friendship, of fraught sexual freedom and the ambient threat of AIDS, of all the things one does to live, even destructively, delivered in breathless, agitational prose. The final pages of this book are an incredible, crashing crescendo, refusing any easy resolution. To read this book will be to recommend it.— Cam
Sketchtasy takes place in that late-night moment when everything comes together, and everything falls apart--it's an urgent, glittering, devastating novel about the perils of queer world-making in the mid-'90s. This is Boston in 1995, a city defined by a rabid fear of difference. Alexa, an incisive twenty-one-year-old queen, faces everyday brutality with determined nonchalance. Rejecting middle-class pretensions, she negotiates past and present traumas with a scathing critique of the world. Drawn to the ecstasy of drugged-out escapades, Alexa searches for nourishment in a gay culture bonded by clubs and conformity, willful apathy, and the specter of AIDS. Is there any hope for communal care? Sketchtasy brings 1990s gay culture startlingly back to life, as Alexa and her friends grapple with the impact of growing up at a time when desire and death are intertwined. With an intoxicating voice and unruly cadence, this is a shattering, incandescent novel that conjures the pain and pageantry of struggling to imagine a future.
About the Author
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the award-winning author of a memoir and three novels, and the editor of five non-fiction anthologies. Her memoir The End of San Francisco won a Lambda Literary Award, and her most recent anthology, Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?, was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. Sketchtasy is her third novel.