Randall Kenan is the second Black gay author I ever read (James Baldwin was the first), starting with his haunting Visitation of Spirits. Kenan’s down home and deft descriptions of a Black pastoral North Carolina were deeply moving to me, as was the vulnerability and rawness with which he laid out the story. The angst and mysticism spoke directly to the very young man that I was at the time of first reading. While I wish one of the incidents had a more positive outcome (no spoilers!), it still ranks as one of my favorite books ever ever ever.
Since then, I’ve always tried to read whatever Professor Kenan writes. I had the good fortune to meet him years ago, and he’s always been very gracious and kind. When I published Tar Heel Born, he generously wrote a blurb for the book, of which I’m enormously proud!
This post could go on and on, so suffice it to say that I just got my hot hands on a copy of If I Had Wings and will savor the read! Let Black gay literary summer continue!