|Like the erotic line drawings of its protagonist, Peter, Drawn From Life insists on presenting the reader with a sexual world that is both beautifully rendered and unrelenting in its honesty. Peter, able to name all makes of cars on the road at the age of three, cannot name what makes him unhappy as he struggles to achieve artistic and emotional happiness in life. His quest leads him to the East Coast, where he finds himself unable to draw or love men in the ways he wants to. The novel traces his aesthetic and erotic development, augmenting the themes of his youth with its final chapters, which find Peter in possession of his grandmother’s farm, a barn full of Nashes, DeSotos and Kaisers, and a reclusive ex-convict of a boyfriend with whom to navigate the pleasures of middle age.
Praise for Jonathan Strong’s previous publications:
“Strong's simple prose carries marvels, and, in the grand tradition of Modernist Literature, his climaxes are orgies of restraint.” Stephen Bottom, Band of Thebes
“Jonathan Strong is a true master, embodying all the old-fashioned attributes that count: a lucid style, a moral footing, an eye for the key details, and the kind of passion that shames cheap irony. In Consolation he has turned the university novel into the kind of splendid soap opera that Tolstoy used to give us. . . a triumph in every way.” Darin Strauss
“A Circle Around Her is the entrancing story of a woman poised between the summer and the autumn of her life. Jonathan Strong makes us feel the cool breezes beneath the shortening sunny days, and he shows us how time complicates and colors our desires. This is a heartening novel. In each bittersweet encounter, Mary Lanaghan and her loved ones learn what it means to let go without giving up.” Michael Downing
“An Untold Tale is an irresistible blend of mythic tale, psychological mystery and daily small-town gossip. . . borne along on the fierce tides of his characters' very different lives, sexual and political, intimate and public, charismatic and quite ordinary. This is a compelling book that reads like a small classic, the reticent kind New Englanders produce best: cool on the surface, seething with questions and challenges underneath.” Rosellen Brown
“Secret Words is a deft and lovely book, humorous and touching, wise in the ways of the heart.” A.G. Mojtabai
“In Elsewhere Jonathan Strong has summoned a world where the terror and ardor of adolescence continue to haunt those who have long passed their teens.” Alice Hoffman