I finally was able to release Volume II of The Goldberg Variations, The Redemption of the Damned. It is available now in paperback or ebook from Amazon, and from your local bookstore in a couple of weeks.
The delays were beyond our control and the book had to outlive the ArnoLand Press which succumbed to financial pressures of the COVID crisis. Meaning I need to look for a publishing home for Volume III, which will hopefully be released sometime late 2021.
Continue the voyage of Jamie Goldberg’s self discovery. Jamie Goldberg, now newly out of the closet in 1980 Detroit, thinks coming out would solve his problems. Yet, allusive darker traumatic secrets seem to linger. He discovers human sexuality is more complex than merely declaring one’s sexuality. He also learns the struggles of suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, and sexual acceptance only begin with coming out. In short, he realizes coming out can pose more problems than it solves. Sometimes he is sustained only by his own wry sense of humor, love of music or the theater. Eventually a cast of Detroit characters accept him as he is, even if he does not, which prepares him for a date with his past he cannot escape. That confrontation threatens to damn him or possibly redeem him.
Here is the praise already mentioned for Volume I, The Rights of Passage:
“The Rites of Passage is like encountering a gay Portnoy’s Complaint in its distinctive blend of Jewish-ness, sex, moral panic, and maternal dominance. And it’s painfully realistic in its depiction of what ‘coming out’ is, its alternation of moments of euphoric liberation with moments of renewed shame and sorrow, as if life were a coin God is flipping and can never be better than half right, but not always the same half. I’ve spent many pages and many hours with Jamie, and I still want to know what happens to him. —Patrick Mulcahey, seven-time Emmy Award-winning screenwriter of The Bold and the Beautiful
What they’re saying about The Rites of Passage: “Jonathan A. Taylor’s The Rites of Passage is marketed as the first in a series of novels; it also ably stands on its own. The story follows Jamie Goldberg from elementary school to college, as he grows from an abused boy into a self- possessed young man. His life is a symphony of pain, humor, filth, and beauty as he struggles to come to terms with his identity in homophobic America.” — Foreward Reviews
“Heartbreaking and hilarious, provocative and roman-tic—in The Rites of Passage, the first book in The Goldberg Variations, debut novelist Jonathan Taylor drills down till it hurts in a coming-of-age and coming out story tailored to our times.” —Linda Watanabe McFerrin, author of Namako, Dead Love and The Hand of Buddha
“When I read the searing tale of Jamie’s journey from childhood through adolescence and young adulthood, I lived it as if it were my own. It chronicles his anguish as he finds himself on the outside, increasingly isolated from family, school and college, his coming to terms with transgressive fantasies and his authentic self … set against the backdrop of political upheaval that defined the Seventies.” —Kunal Mukherjee, author of My Magical Palace
“Reading The Rites of Passage reminded me of the fragile time in one’s youth when one may or may not mistakenly believe that all information is somehow related to one’s self. So, rather irrationally and hilar-iously, I started to assume the book was about me and was frankly upset about that. This is when the genius of the author’s trick hit me. Through Jonathan’s writing style and his character’s problematic self-driven gay psychosis, he managed to bring me back to that most vulnerable part of myself: youth. Reading it then became addicting. If The Rites of Passage doesn’t remind you of yourself, it will certainly remind you of someone you love.” —Rene Capone, gay figure painter and author of many graphic novels including The Legend of Hedgehog Boy