"Mann has a sharp eye for capturing the way we live." -- Tim Miller (click on book for information)
Object Of Desire
The Men From The Boys
Where The Boys Are
Men Who Love Men
All American Boy
The Biograph Girl
COMING IN JUNE 2009 OBJECT OF DESIRE
(Kensington 2009) “It’s always been golden for you, Danny. You’ve always been the golden boy.” Danny Fortunato seemed to have it all. He was cute, funny, sexy, smart—the hottest go-go boy in West Hollywood. When he danced on stage, all eyes were upon him and all men desired him. But something always kept Danny from ever really believing he was the golden boy that others said he was...a secret that he'd carried with him ever since he was a teenager. Twenty years later, living in Palm Springs, Danny is celebrating his 41st birthday—although “celebrating” might not be the right word for how he feels about his life today. To the outside world, he's still golden: he still has his looks, and he still loves Frank, his boyfriend of nearly two decades. But something is missing in his life. Passion. Romance. Adventure. The same something that's been missing ever since that day when he turned fourteen, when his sister Becky disappeared and his whole world flipped upside-down. Now into Danny's life walks a gorgeous young bartender named Kelly, who becomes for Danny an obsession, an object of desire and fascination. But Kelly's indifference to this onetime golden boy only confirms what Danny secretly believes: that he’s “vanishing” into thin air—like his sister, so long ago. As he reflects on his angst-ridden childhood—the shattering of his family, the sex and drugs of his youth as one of L.A.’s most coveted boy toys—Danny begins to recognize certain patterns. Somewhere along the way, he gave up on his dreams—not only of becoming an actor, but his very lust for life. And yet—all that’s about to change, when a surprising, agonizing connection with Kelly sends Danny on a soul-searching quest to reclaim the things he has loved and lost. Filled with unforgettable warmth, incorrigible humor, and irresistible charm, Object of Desire takes readers through three milestone eras in one man’s life—his youth in the 1970s, his days of abandon in the 1980s, and his more sober, reflective existence today—and reaffirms William J. Mann’s reputation as one of gay fiction’s major narrative powers.
THE MEN FROM THE BOYS - The "Jeff and Lloyd" Trilogy
The perennial favorite and long-running best-seller, the start of the popular series chronicling a decade of life for Jeff O’Brien and his friends.
Featuring three "generations" of gay men, The Men From the Boys is a romantic romp between summers in Provincetown and winters in Boston. Thirtysomething Jeff O'Brien is torn between his longtime lover Lloyd and a summer romance with Eduardo, a 22-year-old houseboy, who turns out to be much more than a one-night stand. All the while, Jeff's world threatens to unravel as the health of his ex-lover and mentor, the 47-year-old David Javitz, continues to decline. Ultimately The Men From the Boys is a story about sex -- safe sex, unsafe sex, casual sex, real sex --- and love -- young lovers, old lovers, ex-lovers, falling in love, and staying in love. A brilliant slice of gay life at the turn of the millennium.
“Mann offers all one might ask for in gay fiction... a nice blend of romance and comedy and a thoughtful contribution to the search for an ethics of gay relationships. An impressive debut!”— Kirkus Reviews
“This remarkable book discusses the concepts of family, love, passion and acceptance in ways few books have. If you only buy one gay novel this year, make it this one!”— Library Journal
“It is Mann’s gift for dialogue that makes this first novel remarkable — his characters talk the way people actually speak... one of the most honest and engrossing books in years.”— Out
“Ebbs and flows with a sweaty techno pulse... In this beautiful book, first-time novelist William J. Mann explores the irony that gay men are mourned when they die young, but dismissed when they grow old... poignant and delightful.”— POZ
“Both intimate and sprawling in scope, this is one for the gay time capsule. Few novels of recent years have rendered so convincingly the intricacies of gay life at the close of the 20th century.”— The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review
“A buoyant but ultimately serious exploration of what love can mean to gay men.”— Lambda Book Report
“An absorbing, cleverly paced story of love and friendship.”— The Hartford Courant
“A heartfelt story about the meaning of gay male relationships and friendships.”— The Boston Phoenix
“Mann’s characters enter and leave relationships, find mentors, sleep with cute boys, deal with AIDS, face death and generally learn what it means to be responsible, caring, sexually active adults in a culture that does its best to inhibit all three. The Men From the Boys is a debut novel that delights and challenges, but more importantly, understands how we live today.”— Amazon.com
“This novel resonates with a powerful emotional honesty... Mann has populated Jeff’s world with a number of fully realized, immediately identifiable characters who soon seem like old friends.”— Bay Windows
“At this point in time, the experiences, understandings, and desires of gay men who are 22, 32 or 47 are vastly different. Mann is one of the first writers to delineate these different contemporary life experiences within the framework of one novel.”— Bay Area Reporter
“William J. Mann’s funny and swiftly told story of one man stuck between the Baby Boomers and Generation X will warm your heart with its sensitive and tender portrayal.”— Edge Magazine
WHERE THE BOYS ARE - The "Jeff and Lloyd" Trilogy
In the sexy and provocative follow-up to The Men From the Boys, Jeff O'Brien—still in search of love and sex—navigates the circuit scene from Provincetown to San Francisco, from Montreal to Palm Springs, in the company of friends, tricks, old loves, and irresistible strangers, going any place Where the Boys Are.
Jeff and his on-again, off-again lover Lloyd Griffith are both thirtysomething professionals still grieving the death of their mentor Javitz. Jeff bounces from party to party, finding it easy to forget his grief when he's on the dance floor, immersed in a sea of beautiful boys with sculpted pecs and speed bumps for abs. With him at all times is his protege, best friend, sister, and not-so-secret admirer Henry Weiner, once a ninety-eight-pound weakling who, in his late twenties, has blossomed into a hunky muscle-boy escort. Meanwhile, Lloyd deals with his own grief by rejecting the sex-and-drugs culture and buying a guesthouse in Provincetown with an eccentric widow named Eva Horner. As the lives of Jeff, Lloyd, and Henry intertwine, each faces his own mystery. Henry's repressed feelings of love for Jeff propel him on a fascinating quest to discover his own identity amid the often seedy world of sex for cash. Lloyd experiences the dark side of the “fag hag” experience when Eva exhibits increasingly bizarre behavior. As petite as the Bride of Chucky, she might possibly be just as deranged. But the most intriguing mystery of all involves the beautiful, mysterious stranger Jeff meets on the dance floor at yet another circuit party and invites to move in. Anthony Sabe is a young man seemingly without a past, whose bright-eyed ingenuousness at first charms everyone, but later raises suspicions. Jeff, once an investigative journalist, sets out to uncover the truth about Anthony. What he finds is progressively more disturbing, raising questions not only about Anthony but also about himself. As each of these stories intertwines, Jeff, Lloyd, and Henry deal with the myriad issues confronting gay men today: sex, drugs, grief, AIDS, barebacking, body image, commitment, one-night stands, and the search for love. The first novel to be set on the gay party circuit—a phenomenon that has in recent years been much in the media, for good and bad— Where The Boys Are evokes a world with its own language, customs, traditions, and idiosyncracies, set to a backdrop of sex, drugs, and dance music. An evocative slice of gay life in the 21st century, Where The Boys Are is sexy, funny, and insightful—and, ultimately, about the meaning of friendship and the acceptance of self.
“William J. Mann’s third novel deserves to stand alongside the best of Armistead Maupin and Felice Picano…Where the Boys Are affirms Mann’s status as one of gay fiction’s major narrative powers.” — Christopher Rice, Lambda Book Report
“Guaranteed to send your temperature soaring!” — The Advocate
“Captivating… By offering different perspectives, Mann allows us into the highly charged characters and the real motives that lurk behind their facades.” — Genre
“Mann’s party boys make a sexy first impression but prove surprisingly deep upon further inspection. The same goes for Where the Boys Are.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Gorgeously crafted — This is the must-read gem of the summer.” — David Rosen, InsightOut Books
“Mann has his finger on the pulse… By combining drama with mystery, Mann has crafted another winning novel which successfully articulates the angst, hopes and dreams of a large cross-section of gay men.” — J.S. Hall, Bay Windows
“Mann knows the circuit-party scene like the back of his writing hand, so we fly with the characters from Montreal to Palm Springs to Miami…. If some gay man in the future were to find a copy of this novel in a time capsule, he’d find out a lot about the good times, fun places and strong friendships Mann has captured so effectively.” — Frontiers Newsmagazine
“This is a great read… It’s a love story, really, and you can’t help but hope for a happy ending. Four stars!” — Detroit Free Press
“A hugely entertaining novel — and at the same time a serious, spiritually rich read.” — Richard Labonte, nationally syndicated reviewer
MEN WHO LOVE MEN - The "Jeff and Lloyd" Trilogy
For Jeff O'Brien, life has finally fallen into place. He's now a bestselling author, living in Provincetown full-time with Lloyd Griffith, his longtime lover and soon-to-be legal husband. Forty has nothing on Jeff and Lloyd--they're the still-sexy poster boys for settled, contented domesticity. They seem to have everything, in fact--even a foster son, Jeff's 10-year-old nephew, whom they're helping to raise.
And so, from near and far, friends are converging on Provincetown for the wedding of Jeff and Lloyd...but can these two famously non-monogamous freethinkers with their roving eyes really agree to "forsake all others?"
Meanwhile, their best friend Henry Weiner, escort-turned-erotic energy worker, wonders if he'll ever find what Jeff and Lloyd have with each other. Thirtysomething, no longer the muscle boy of his twenties, Henry's searching for that one special someone--though he's just about ready to give up when a meeting at Tea Dance changes everything.
Enter Luke West. Dangerously young, boyishly handsome, with a seductive charm and a rich fantasy life, Luke tells everyone he's come to P-Town to find himself both personally and as a writer. But his real agenda may possibly be very different--and far less innocent. Once he's worked his way into Jeff and Lloyd's lives, Luke find his presence arousing intense feelings in all the men around him: desire, longing, recognition, need, compassion--and suspicion.
For as much as Henry desires Luke, he's been around long enough to know that the new boy isn't what he appears to be. Even as he succumbs to his charms, again and again, Henry's determined to reveal the secrets Luke is hiding. But what he learns only forces him to confront his own loneliness and his seemingly never-ending search for true love.
Behind the heady beach days and party nights of summer, Jeff, Lloyd, and Henry will face their futures alone and together, closing the door on some chapters of their lives while opening others to new love and hope.
With Men Who Love Men, William J. Mann tackles the big questions of contemporary gay life, delivering a beautiful, thoughtful book about love, sex, commitment, friendship, and fantasy, about the lives we engineer and the joyful surprises that happen when we least expect them.
"What makes the reader care is Mann's effortless prose and generosity of spirit, making this something like a Dancer From the Dance for today's thirtysomethings." — Out Smart (Houston, Texas)
"There is real transcedence in this novel. Mann's novel is outstanding, showing his tremendous development as a writer. He has woven a complex story that is satisfying, fun to read and wise." — AfterElton.com
"Powerful...Mann's most mature and ambitious fiction to date...a strong, sexy novel that will stand out." — Lambda Book Report
"There is a satisfying sense of completion for the characters and the trilogy." — The Gay and Lesbian Review
"This story is infused with a tenderness that is quite affecting." —Philadelphia Gay News
"Men Who Love Men is sure to bring Mann a new generation of fans." — Here! Magazine
"Mann captures the spirit of P-Town perfectly." — We the People
“Mann gets off some funny lines and smiles wryly on the longings of his characters. There's also a nice side plot in Jeff's nine-year-old nephew-ward J.R., who struggles with his latent heterosexuality.” — Publishers Weekly
ALL AMERICAN BOY
A darker, more mysterious change of pace for William J. Mann.
“Would you come home, Walter? Please?" With these desperate words from the mysterious, distant mother he hasn’t seen in ten years, Wally Day finds his carefully constructed world falling in on itself. For years, the handsome actor has made denial his own particular art form — from his stalled career to his emotionless embrace of the hard-edged boys who regularly traipse through his bedroom. But now, faced with this sudden intrusion from his past, Wally must confront the reasons he left his hometown of Brown's Mill in a cloud of anger, shame, and guilt.
But Wally isn’t the only one who’s confronting ghosts. His mother Regina had dreams too once, dreams corrupted by fate and circumstance. With her own world unraveling, with strange, confusing memories of a murder that may or may not have occurred, she turns to the son she barely knows for help.
It’s a journey that will take both Wally and his mother back to their pasts — to a time when Regina was a starry-eyed girl and Wally the good son, the smartest boy in his class, the shining picture of the All-American Boy. It’s a journey, too, that takes a chance on the future — for now, mirroring his own involvement with Zandy twenty years before, Wally finds he may have something to teach about love and self to a sixteen-year-old boy.
Bestselling author William J. Mann has written his most powerful work yet: a searing novel about the difference between going home and finding yourself there. Along the way, he asks tough, heartrending questions: What is the price of regret? Is love ever wrong? What does it mean to forgive? By turns poignant and sexy, harrowing and hopeful, All American Boy is a big, wise book filled with insight, humor, hurt, truth, and the ever-renewing hope of love.
“Mann's most complex novel to date... Fans will be refreshed by his audacious change of pace.” — Publishers Weekly
“Mann's beautifully bleak novel is darker, haunting, and more accomplished than his previous entertainments... This harsh story of a man coming to terms with the damaged boy within isn't without humor —Mann's got a light touch even with heavy subject matter.”— Richard Labonte, Book Marks
“Powerful, deeply unsettling, not easily forgotten... Mann unflinchingly depicts the dark underbelly of '70s suburban life in America,” — Bay Windows
“Tense and unnerving.” — Instinct
“Cleverly convoluted and gripping...charts new dramatic terrain...Mann plays with memory and perception in a way that feels freeing... Distinctions between dream and reality become less important than the truths of knowledge and forgiveness.” — Edge Magazine
THE BIOGRAPH GIRL
Get ready for a wild roller-coaster ride through the 20th century, led by a sassy, chain-smoking 107-year-old movie star named Florence Lawrence.
In real life, Florence Lawrence was the world's first movie star, having her name revealed to an adoring public in 1910. But when her fame inevitably slipped away, Flo ended her life in 1938 by drinking ant poison. Or did she? In the novel The Biograph Girl, William Mann has imagined that the movies' first star didn't die, that her suicide was faked, and that she has survived to today, discovered by a pair of brothers with competing schemes on how to exploit her story.
Flo comes roaring back to a new, unorthodox celebrity-- but soon the questions are being asked: if Florence Lawrence didn't die back in 1938, who is buried in her grave?
Flashing back and forth across the decades, from old Hollywood to new Hollywood, The Biograph Girl is a fascinating page-turner loaded with mystery and romance and glamour. With an eclectic supporting cast that includes Greta Garbo, Rosie O'Donnell, Clark Gable, Oprah Winfrey, D.W. Griffith and John Waters, this is a cinematic tour-de-force.
"The Biograph Girl provides not only a good yarn but also an impressively researched piece of film history and compelling glimpse at early 20th century America."— The Advocate
"An undeniable tour-de-force. Long-gone Hollywood shimmers back to raucous life."— Bay Windows
"An incredibly cinematic tale... a cast of tremendously convincing and original characters... The Biograph Girl unspools cinematically on all levels of reality and fantasy that are the absolute essence of old-fashioned and new fangled Hollywood magic."— LGNY
"Skillfully blending facts, fancy and a vision of the earliest days of moviemaking, the artful Mann resurrects the first movie star as a hot-ticket 107-year-old. A finely detailed and satisfyingly complicated mystery, aided in its allure by several characters simultaneously coming to terms with how they came to be who they are."— Kirkus Reviews
"Mann does a masterful job... his crowning achievement is the character of Florence. From the moment she first appears with her long, blood-red fingernails, her cigarette holder, and her wicked sense of humor, she is completely captivating. This is not just another cautionary tale about the seductive lure of fame; this is a story about human relationships and discovery during a crucial moment in peoples' lives."— Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review
"Seamlessly combining actual people with fictional characters, Mann presents a wonderfully entertaining look at the ups and downs of the life of a star and of the film world, from its inception to the present day."— Booklist
"Deception, gossip, intrigue, and possible murder, The Biograph Girl has it all." — In Newsweekly