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In The City Of Shy Hunters

Tom Spanbauer
published by Grove Press

The long-awaited follow-up to Tom Spanbauer’s enchanting The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon , In The City Of Shy Hunters is a novel ten years in the making, praised as “utterly fresh” a haunting and undeniably powerful work by Kirkus Reviews . Set against the urban landscape of Manhattan in the 1980?s, the novel offers a vivid portrait of New York City through the eyes of William Of Heaven who comes to the city as an innocent and leaves in a blaze of glory as the city ends up destroying the people he loves.

In The City Of Shy Hunters opens in 1983, when William Parker (aka William Of Heaven) moves from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to Manhattan, desperate to escape the provincialism of the small Western towns in which he has spent his entire life. Shy, afflicted with a stutter, and struggling with his sexuality, Will has been afraid of New York his entire life.

Will moves to New York to find a cherished boyhood friend, Charlie 2Moons. As boys on the reservation, Will and Charlie made a sacred promise to one another. A pact of blood. Yet, due to a twist of fate no man can believe and only God could bring about, the promise was broken. As the novel begins, Will is taking the first steps of his dark journey to find his lost friend.

On his journey, Will learns the value of embracing one’s fears, finding himself surrounded for the first time by people who understand and celebrate his quirks and flaws. Along the way, he becomes wrapped up in one of the most unforgettable romances in literature, a love affair with a volatile, six-foot-five African American drag queen and performance artist named Rose.

As Will falls in love with Rose, as Will continues his search for Charlie 2Moons, Will grows into himself. He must watch as his friends are taken from him as AIDS grows from a rumor into a full-scale epidemic. Meanwhile, tension is also mounting between the police and the squatters in his local park until a vicious riot breaks out, providing Will with the opportunity for a heroic, transcendent act that will repay the city for returning Charlie to him. The reader is left shaken, fulfilled, and changed.

In The City Of Shy Hunters is a work of rare beauty, a love story, a postmodern Pygmalian, about the city and how it allows us to lose, and find, ourselves. Magical, funny, and gorgeous in its passion for humanity, it is an unforgettable novel.

“Everything is risked in the novel’s vividly imagined telling through the extravagant voice of Will Parker Spanbauer skillfully teases out the genuine complexity of human love.” The Washington Post

?This winter novels set in New York take on a particular resonance, and Tom Spanbauer’s In The City Of Shy Hunters (Atlantic) is one of the finest ever written. The cult author of The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon here extends his romance with cowboys to embrace those of the urban variety. His portrait of Manhattan is racy, witty, profound and genuinely mythic. He also succeeds in drawing of portrait of AIDS among the artists that is totally free of the clichs and excesses of the genre. The novel was shamefully ignored on its publication, but its extraordinary insights should engage readers for many year to come. Michael Arditti , London.