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It gave me pause: How many people have I allowed to tear me open, to pry the darkest secrets from my depths, leaving me irreparably changed?Beneath its paper skin, the book is small and red — like a pocket bible, or a secret diary.
Although some people may not be out or open about their homosexuality, queer people inhabit every corner of the Earth.The novel is deeply sensual, frankly portraying the reality of physical and emotional love experienced by queer people, thus validating and celebrating lives that, for many, must be lived vibrantly, yet still in secret, to this day.“Two Augusts in a Row in a Row” is at times sad and bittersweet, other instances jubilant. Often, we tout novels that burst at the seams with action — we rejoice in the thrill of movement and resolution, of that one perfect scene that wraps the strings of plot up so nicely.Where this novel triumphs is in its deliberate avoidance of perfection, which in turn creates its own sort of gracefulness. It focuses in on little moments and actions that reflect what real life is like. Regardless of your geographical location, self-identified gender, or sexual orientation, dating can be a frustrating experience.What makes this novel so compelling to me is the way it so gently portrays the queer experience.
There is a magic to queerness that’s hard to explain, but exists in the way we recognize each other, speak only truths to each other, see each other, lay with each other.
Over and over again, Philip leaps for love until the temporary flush fades away, leaving nothing behind.
After a drag show, a woman named Nettle offers, “How about you hang out with me for 17 years?
” and Philip swoons — at least, until the next promise of forever comes along.
The real object of Philip’s admiration is a woman named Magi, with whom a relationship has been cultivated only through online messages: In other words, the lacks of physical presence presents the perfect vessel for Philip to project their yearnings and expectations upon.
Philip revels in the freedom of androgyny, yet struggles with the kind of loneliness and dysphoria that so many genderqueer people face.