Jameson Currier introduced gay Manhattanites in post-AIDs era, with stories of quiet courage and rainbow spirit in his book Still Dancing. His new book, The Wolf at the Door, in contrast is a raunchy comedy set in the French Quarter in N’auwlins, yet ripe with the author’s elegant and muscular prose.
Currier spins Creole lore flush with characters living in the gay big easy erotically, exotically, and this time supernaturally. Avery is the hapless medium to some shaken up spirits around the gay guest house he runs. He speaks in clipped sentences to the customers, but in rambling thoughts as narrator of this flop-house tale of lovers, wolves and au courant ghosts.
His partner, ex-lover Parker, runs the hotel’s adjacent restaurant. The two snipe at each other, with new boytoys circling as they try to contain the dramas brewing in the kitchen and the bedrooms. Things are getting out of hand between them as Hank, their ailing benefactor– ex-lover to both–prepares to check out permanently. His exit shakes up the souls checking back in after 180 years of unsettled business on this former plantation.
Currier distills a dizzying gothic tale around some riotously funny characters, with potent shots of southern gothica. Even when lurching toward thematic bloat, he is a dare-devil of a stylist. Ghost sex, wolf specters, and voodoo diva dances are just sideshows to the true horrors are uncovered in the realities of Southern slavery. A journal from the 1820s reveals a parallel story of gay interracial master-slave love, a tale full of portents, both real and symbolic.