YEARS FROM NOW by Gary Glickman


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Here, a first novel that begins as a poignant, though somewhat schmaltzy, family saga and turns into the soap-operatic story of a gay yuppy (or guppy) who's tom between his Jewish upbringing, with its apparently racial imperative to procreate, and his unconventional sexual desires. Before we meet David Rosen, Glickman introduces--through a series of unnecessarily elliptical vignettes--the future doctor's large family: a matriarchy of Jews from Lewiston, N.J., who prosper with each generation even as their domestic affairs leave much to be desired. David's family comes together mostly in ritual--the weddings, funerals, and Seders that punctuate this wandering narrative. More than one marriage ends in divorce, more than one of the deaths is tragically premature, and all the Seders seem to involve controversy, whether it's David's sister, Lonnie, ranting about her family's religious hypocrisy, or David himself bringing home his goy lover, another incipient M.D., who's ""brilliant,"" ""handsome,"" and ""gentle beyond question."" For all of David's difficulties growing up gay around uncles who warn him about ""fairies"" and aunts who worry about ""sensitive boys,"" his ""coming out"" is a breeze compared to the sexual identity crisis of his best friend, Beth Bauer. The self-dramatizing daughter of another loveless, heterosexual marriage, Beth is oppressed by her mother's interference in her private affairs, few of which involve men. Despite their preference for sex with their own gender, Beth and David ""love each other best,"" which makes it easier for them to come up with the Final arrangement that will satisfy their mothers' need to be grandparents and their own commitment to future generations. Tears of joy and sorrow threaten to flood this weepy, sometimes whiney family tale that winds up a Jewish-homosexual Terms of Endearment--yes, there's even terminal cancer.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1987
Publisher: Knopf