In the City of Shy Hunters
By Tom Spanbauer
(Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802138989, 512pp.)
Publication Date: May 2002
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Tom Spanbauer is one of the most enchanting writers in America today, and In the City of Shy Hunters, his first novel in ten years, is a "rich and colorful" portrait of New York in the 1980s, told with "raw power" (David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle). Shy, afflicted with a stutter, and struggling with his sexuality, Will Parker comes to New York to escape the provincial western towns where he grew up. In New York, he finds himself surrounded for the first time by people who understand and celebrate his quirks and flaws. He also begins an unforgettable love affair with a volatile, six-foot-five African-American drag queen and performance artist named Rose. But even as he is falling in love with Rose and growing into himself, Will must watch as AIDS escalates from a rumor into a devastating tragedy. When a vicious riot erupts in a local park, Will seizes the chance to repay the city for all it has taught him, in a climax that will leave readers shaken, fulfilled, and changed. "In the City of Shy Hunters is so finely crafted ... you'll think you've been reading a modernist classic." -- Peter Kurth, Salon.com "Spanbauer's genius resides even in the asides ... teas[ing] out the genuine complexity of human love." -- Thomas McGonigle, The Washington Post Book World "Ambitious and compelling ... a mixture of the ghastly, the hilarious, and the curiously touching." -- John Hartl, The Seattle Times "In the City of Shy Hunters has the earmarks of a literary landmark ... Its importance and originality are unmistakable." -- Laura Demanski, The Baltimore Sun