William Mann's New Novel Looks at Hollywood, Then and Now, With the Woman Who Started the Whole Crazy Ride
by Tim Miller
For many months in 1997, William J. Mann's debut novel, The Men From the Boys, topped the gay best-seller lists. Inspiring legions of readers who had felt "left out" of gay lit-gay men of that sandwich generation between the Boom and the X, struggling with the promise gay liberation was supposed to bring-the novel painted an engaging, sexy slice of gay life at the end of the last millennium. It was a world familiar to many but one that had not often been chronicled: the world of open relationships, longterm commitments, circuit parties, tricking, safe-sex negotiations and the evolution of relationships-in an era both beautiful and fleeting, before the Rise of Protease. That was the key to the book's success: documenting a world of a particular time and place.