Recommendations on "PK Lit?"
I started Allan Gurganus' PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS this morning, and I'm kicking myself, thinking, why didn't I pick up this book before? I just happened across it, appropriately, in the fabulous book section of Housing Works Thrift Shop on the Upper West Side. Glad I grabbed it. Anyway, one of the characters is an artist-PK (Preacher's Kid) like me, and it's an interesting, sensitive, funny portrayal through the eyes of his less-Lutheran friend. The book opens with the PK dying of AIDS at St. Vincents Hospital, asking his caretaker-friend to clear all the sex toys from his apartment before the parents show up for a final visit. Poignant, funny--dildoes stacked like "cord wood" in the broom closet--I can't wait to read on.
What does being a preacher's kid do to one's identity? This is one of the themes I'm playing with in my new novel project. And in life, I suppose, though I have other identity "themes" there too. My broom closet is way more boring, but I still identify with the character's impulse to "clean up," even when that seems like a silly notion.
So now I'm brainstorming, trying to think of other works of literature with preacher's kid characters or authors. Any suggestions? I have the complete oevre of James Baldwin on the shelf, and most of Tennessee Williams and Darcey Steinke. Also have Marilynne Robinson's GILEAD on my to-be-read stack. Any others you have enjoyed?
Labels: Writing Fiction