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I Can Give You Anything But Love

by Bill Biss
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Sep 8, 2015
I Can Give You Anything But Love

There is a rough and tumble honesty in the intensity and lulls of youth, individuality and realistic resolve to be found in "I Can Give You Anything But Love." In sharing his memoirs, Gary Indiana exposes the inner turmoil, his naked truths of sexuality as a gay man and the clear and still present intuitive qualities of his distinctive and intelligent voice as a writer. Indiana is the author of seven noteworthy novels, a playwright and a poet and an esteemed critic who is considered one of the most intriguing radical voices in American literature.

Gary Indiana makes it clear in an early segment of "I Can Give You Anything But Love" that he is an endless writer of scrambled thoughts encapsulated in a variety of forms... yet it is his way of capturing an eloquence or caustic wit of feeling and description that is provocative, hilarious, at times and ultimately enthralling to understand.

"I Can Give You Anything But Love" is not a breezy read and that is part of the fascination to be found in his writing style and livelihood. Indiana's childhood, his coming of age in the spaced-out yet magnetically charged streets of San Francisco of the late 1960s and his Hollywood and L.A. days are all interwoven in his memories. Each chapter is a sensory snapshot created with descriptive resonance... there is no set timeline of order. His life in Cuba takes precedence throughout several chapters, as well. His ability infuses a potent imagery that is dark, informative and brutally honest in his sexual conquests.

In sharing his memoirs, Gary Indiana exposes the inner turmoil, his naked truths of sexuality as a gay man and the clear and still present intuitive qualities of his distinctive and intelligent voice as a writer.

There are countless excursions into the sexual side of his experiences. Every sensual moment from his first blowjob, first homosexual coupling, cock-size, taste, preference or proclivity shoots off the pages. In the hands of a less accomplished writer, these episodes could be nothing more than standard gay erotica. Yet, Gary Indiana instills a common and emphatically honest telling that is relatable to any queer eye.

Indiana has managed to create a tonal patchwork of his life filled with potent nights of drugs and drink, individual moments of insecurity and self-loathing matched with those moments of sharp survival mode in crisis. His capacity to love and the friendships he has experienced.... are somewhat hidden in his heart. It's not that Gary Indiana comes across as incapable of such emotions, love in a long-lasting sense is just not part of his life's portrait.

"I Can Give You Anything But Love"
Gary Indiana
Rizzoli Ex Libris
$25.95

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