Garth Greenwell's first novel, What Belongs to You (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), examines the relationship between an American teacher in Bulgaria with a male prostitute. Greenwell's narrator is comfortable with an "out" gay identity but still carries internalized shame. According to Greenwell, there are versions of queer life difficult to value in the era of marriage equality. For example, is cruising a relic from the days of the closet -- or it is a vital expression of passion and human connection? Greenwell says his novel is in the operatic queer tradition of Jean Genet, James Baldwin and Walt Whitman.
Read an excerpt of What Belongs to You.
Photo: Alex Pieros