Jeff Stookey’s New Novel ACQUAINTANCE Released
Jeff Stookey has released his new novel, Acquaintance, and he has this to say about the book and the event:
My first novel Acquaintance has been released and a book launch party will be held on Saturday, November 4th from 3-5 PM at the Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Avenue in Portland. This event is free and open to the public. Please join me to help celebrate.
Acquaintance is Book 1 of the trilogy Medicine for the Blues. When I sat down to do some writing in the late 1990s, all I knew was that I had a haunting image in my mind and a fascination with the 1920s. I read that when Umberto Eco began writing The Island of the Day Before, he started reading everything he could get his hands on about 17th century sailing, including pictures and maps. I began collecting postcards of images from around the 1920s and started reading all that I could about the era. Then I discovered an explosion of research into gay history, much aimed at unearthing gay culture of the early 20th century. My book took shape slowly over many years, but I never imagined it would turn into three books at nearly 300 pages each.
The story is set in Portland in the years 1923 and 1924. As a young surgeon, Carl Holman has experienced the horrors of World War I and the loss of his lover, a fellow officer. Back home after the war, he befriends a young jazz musician who he hopes will become a companion he can share his life with.
But this is Oregon: the Ku Klux Klan is gaining influence, homosexual acts are illegal, and such a relationship will jeopardize Carl’s promising medical career. Musician Jimmy Harper has his own dreams for the future and his own obstacles to overcome before he will allow himself to accept Carl’s love. More than a gay romance novel, Acquaintance is a deep dive into gay and lesbian history based on extensive period research of the 1920s. Medicine for the Blues explores the complexities of gender and sexuality through the historical lens of the early 1920s. It was a time when jazz was becoming popular, Freud was all the rage, social mores were shifting, the Ku Klux Klan was growing in influence, liquor was illegal, and women had just gotten the vote.
The trilogy tells a touching love story set against the dramatic backdrop of this influential era. Book 2: Chicago Blues, available Spring 2018. Book 3: Dangerous Medicine, available Fall 2018.
“Reading Acquaintance is like discovering the journal of a long-lost relative. This well-researched novel gives a believable and realistic picture of gay and lesbian life in Portland in the 1920s. Filled with period detail, Carl’s fictional memoir is a love story I devoutly wish were true.”
—Linda Anne Hoag, Marriage and Family Therapist
“In this gay historical novel I want to encourage understanding and acceptance by asking readers to shift their frame of reference. Society and history are not static, they are constantly changing.”
For more information visit Jeff Stookey’s website: medicinefortheblues.com