Having settled together in the Virginia suburbs, Sebastian’s boyfriend has dumped him for an out-of-state job. Meanwhile, Oscar is sickened by all this gay marriage stuff. After two more of his friends announce nuptials, he vows to live by his genitals. They meet at a wedding, of course, and Sebastian immediately recognizes Oscar from their childhood, when he'd find refuge with Sebastian and his family. There’s unfinished business here, but they simply can’t connect. Instead, each is drawn to another friendship – Oscar with an older Andrew Holleran-esque author who found success chronicling youthful adventures, and Sebastian with one of the high schoolers in the new LGBT club. The narrative dances back and forth between the two, inextricably linked in that way of frenemies who share a history and social space, and reminded me of early Alan Hollinghurst. I found Let’s Get Back to the Party a moving, eloquent, and often funny novel that resonates long after its end.— Daniel Goldin
A Most-Anticipated Book of 2021: BuzzFeed * The Millions * Cosmopolitan * Electric Literature * LGBTQ Reads * Paperback Paris
One of Advocate's "22 LGBTQ+ Books You Absolutely Need to Read This Year" "An intimate saga that brims with necessary conversations about cultural identity." --O, The Oprah Magazine, "32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021" It is 2015, weeks after the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, and all Sebastian Mote wants is to settle down. A high school art history teacher, newly single and desperately lonely, he envies his queer students their freedom to live openly the youth he lost to fear and shame. When he runs into his childhood friend Oscar Burnham at a wedding in Washington, D.C., he can't help but see it as a second chance. Now thirty-five, the men haven't seen each other in more than a decade. But Oscar has no interest in their shared history, nor in the sense of belonging Sebastian craves. Instead, he's outraged by what he sees as the death of gay culture: bars overrun with bachelorette parties, friends coupling off and having babies. For Oscar, conformity isn't peace, it's surrender. While Oscar and Sebastian struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing world, each is drawn into a cross-generational friendship that treads the line between envy and obsession: Sebastian with one of his students, Oscar with an older icon of the AIDS era. And as they collide again and again, both men must reckon not just with one another but with themselves. Provocative, moving, and rich with sharply drawn characters, Let's Get Back to the Party introduces an exciting and contemporary new talent.