Manhattan, 1963: weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy, fresh-faced Raymond Wallace lands in the New York Times newsroom on a three-month bursary from Cambridge University. He soon discovers his elusive boss, Bukowski, is being covertly blackmailed by an estranged wife, and that he himself is to assist the straight-laced Doty on an article about the 'explosion of overt homosexuality' in the city. On an undercover assignment, a secret world is revealed to Raymond: a world in which he need no longer pretend to be something or someone he cannot be; a world in which he meets Joey.
Like so many men of his time and of his kind, Raymond faces a choice between conformity, courage and compartmentalisation. The decision he makes will ricochet destructively through lives and decades until-in another time, another city; in Paris, 2003-Raymond's son Joe finally meets Joey. And the healing begins.
Number of pages: 290
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
"Raymond Wallace goes to New York and like thousands before, discovers and re-invents himself. But this is 1963, a time when every gay man has to have 'something of the spy about him'. A sensual, moving story of masks and identities, across two continents and four decades. Sam Kenyon has the power to bring you up short with writing that captures all the contradiction of love and loneliness in a big city. I am not Raymond Wallace is a strikingly confident debut novel; not just good considering, but good absolutely." - Samuel West; "Taking as his starting-point a real-life moment of queer history from 1960s New York, Sam Kenyon spins a marvellously stylish and often unexpected story, bringing things to a final boil in one of the most romantic backstreets of contemporary Paris. His denouement is as tough as it is touching-and this is quite some debut for a very first novel." - Neil Bartlett; "A triumph. A primer for all ages." - Murray Melvin; "In this exquisite novel about the breaking of a human heart, a sad young man carries a torch for his first love. It's pre-Stonewall 1963. Men coming out come undone. Laws prevent giving consent to their own bodies. This daring love song of an anxious Prufrock wandering half-deserted streets embraces two generations of fathers, sons, and lovers yearning to find chosen family against all odds. A joyous literary triumph that moved me to tears. Shelve next to Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer winner, The Hours." - Jack Fritscher, author of Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera; "I bloody loved it. A poignant and evocative reminder of how recently our love was impossible, of the lives that were lost in hiding, as well as the unsung heroes who paved the way for our freedoms today. It's also a beautifully told love story, deserving of a wide readership, not least because we all need more happily enough ever afters." - Stella Duffy; "I loved reading Sam Kenyon's debut novel. It's ambitious and constantly surprising. In passages of great elegance and insight, he captures life's unwillingness to fly straight or predictably, but rather in beautiful curves and loops. It made my heart both race and swell, and I know I will loop back to it myself someday soon." - Jacob Fortune-Lloyd; "A beautiful story of thwarted love beginning in 1960s Manhattan and spanning four decades. An elegantly told story and an utterly heartbreaking debut. You'll need tissues." - Julie Owen Moylan