Stories for Boys by Gregory Martin (Hawthorne Books, 2012)
One day in the spring of 2007, Gregory Martin was rough-housing with his two boys when he received a telephone call telling him that his father was in the hospital after having attempted suicide. This startling news was soon followed with the even more stunning revelation that his father had been leading a secret life for decades, engaging in shady sexual encounters with hundreds of men. It also came to light that Martin's father had been sexually abused as a child by his own father, an alcoholic. Martin's parents' marriage, always the seeming model of loving commitment, ended in an acrimonious divorce. Martin's father shakily began to explore life on his own as a gay man. Suddenly everything had changed.
Starting with this shattering series of revelations, "Stories for Boys" follows Gregory Martin's deeply ambivalent journey toward reconciling fond childhood memories with his dad and the father he must now get to know as an adult. Angered over the betrayal to himself and his mother and confused by his own conflicted feelings, Martin is perplexed over how to talk to his own children about their grandfather, yet intrigued by the evolving riddle that is his father. In a narrative both heart-wrenching and redemptive, Martin shares his experiences and roller coaster emotions with startling candor and his own quirky brand of humor as he struggles to reach a place of understanding and acceptance.
About the Author
Gregory Martin's first book, "Mountain City," won the Washington State Book Award for nonfiction in 2001, was a New York Times Notable Book and is referred to by some people in Mountain City, Nevada (population 33), as "The Book." Martin received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. While living in Seattle (1998-2001), he taught at North Seattle Community College and Seattle University and received a Seattle Arts Commission award for creative non-fiction Though it closed more than 12 years ago, he still sometimes dreams about the Honey Bear Bakery on 55th, between Wallingford and Green Lake.
Since joining the faculty of the University of New Mexico, he has received the Keleher Award for Outstanding Assistant Professor, the Gunter Starkey Award for Teaching Excellence and UNM's Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. Currently an associate professor in English, Martin is also director of the Combined BA/MD Program at UNM. Martin's writing has appeared in The Sun, Kenyon Review Online, Creative Nonfiction, Witness and elsewhere.
"Stories for Boys" was named a Discover Great New Writers title by Barnes & Noble. He lives in Albuquerque with his wife, Christine, and sons Oliver and Evan. He writes in the early mornings and drinks way too much coffee before 7 a.m.