Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
by Robert Glück, introduction by Colm Toibin
Margery Kempe is a tale of romantic obsession. It chronicles two relationships which take place in disparate worlds, separated by five centuries. The failed saint Margery Kempe lived in the fifteenth century, when she wrote what is believed to be the first autobiography. In Robert Glück's Margery Kempe, the author's love for a young man, L., frames the story of Kempe's mythical sexual desire and emotional passion for Jesus.
By the bold device of telling two stories in terms of each other (one of Margery Kempe and Jesus, and the other of a twentieth-century love affair), Robert Glück has produced a book without precedent. This novel brings to mind the huge wings of a painted angel—a texture of brilliant richness covered regularly with small, detailed shadows of implication.
At once embracing and thwarting two worlds, two centuries, two sensibilities, what a subtle and powerful amalgam is Margery! Gluck's exquisitely controlled, sensuously textured writing evokes a deeply integrated ecstatic vision that in the end spares us nothing—being nuanced and brutal, passionate and colored with levity, elegant and outrageous.
I, for one, find much to admire in contemporary gay authors. One of my favorites is Robert Gluck.