It’s not easy to classify Currier’s novel. It starts as something of a domestic comedy, with harried New Orleans guesthouse operator Avery Greene Dalrymple III fretting about middle-age decline and the durability of his current relationship, while his former lover, quirky chef Parker, operates a ground-floor Creole restaurant in the genteelly shabby building they co-own. The New Orleans setting leads naturally to spirited spookiness, with supernatural proceedings and ghostly manifestations, including that of a gorgeous young man, the late partner of Max, who is dying of HIV in an upstairs apartment – adding a touch of realistic melancholy to the tale. And the story is also infused with erotic passages worthy of, well, self-stimulation.
So let’s just classify the novel as really good – a masterful blend of genres that comes together like succulent literary gumbo. Currier’s crew of querulous aging queens, offbeat beautiful boys and assorted oddball friends constitute an endearing found family of queers, while the author’s historical flashbacks conjure the Big Easy’s atmospheric past.
The Wolf at the Door
by Jameson Currier.
Chelsea Station Editions, 288 pages, $16 paper.