HEMINGWAY FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
Critical Comment: D.T. Max, New York Times Book Review: “Exceptional, smart and playful, a novel of quiet seductions. An imagined correspondence between Wilde and the author that turns into a drama of cross-century friendship.”
Merlin Holland; author, grandson of Oscar Wilde:“A charming read. I’m sure Grandfather would have seen the fun of it.”
Hillary Hemingway; Director, Hemingway Literary Festival: “What a delight to discover this unique voice. The novel is already the buzz of New York.”
Jill Jackson,Syndicated columnist, King Features:“A brilliant correspondence, beautifully written and researched. Very funny stuff.”
Ellis Hanson, Author, “Decadence & Catholicism”:“A style so conversational and amusing, it felt like Holloway was sitting at my dinner table. Postmodern parallels with Wilde abound – theatre is transmogrified into TV commercials, rentboys into go-go types in a hustler bar, Reading Gaol into a psycho-prison for sexual outcasts. They make for interesting echoes and dissonances between decadence and post-modernism, aestheticism and camp, innuendo and outness, sex as gross indecency and sex as medical problem.”
Giovanna Franci,Professor of English, University of Bologna, Italy:“What a wonderful concept! Beautifully realized! I couldn’t put it down.”
LINER NOTES: In February of 1993, enroute from Capetown, South Africa to Los Angeles, during a lay-over at London´s Cadogan Hotel, C. Robert Holloway is convinced he witnessed the arrest of Oscar Wilde from the very room he´s occupying.
After badgering a reluctant night-manager, he learns that his room is indeed the same suite from which Wilde was ignominiously hauled away to Bow Street Police Station in April of 1895.
Emboldened by a split of honor-bar rose and a chocolate rush, he drafts a letter to Wilde, at once part apology - part adulation - part exorcism and no small part jet-lagged foolishness.
Next morning,he deposits it in a Piccadilly post-box, and shortly departs for California, never giving it a second thought.
Two weeks later a thick envelope tumbles from Holloway´s mail-box in West Hollywood. Filling several pages, the flamboyant hand bears a strong resemblance to Wilde´s. Its author´s observations on Holloway´s lineage and threadbare education are accurate enough to unnerve him, albeit momentarily.
Thus begins an audacious, outrageous, occasionally trenchant, often hilarious correspondence between a little-known TV producion designer and the most famous gay man in the Western world.