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The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse


Dennis Cooper unveils a mesmerizing debut story collection for his Little House on the Bowery fiction series.

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What people are saying…

“[A] provocative and refreshing debut collection.”
Publishers Weekly

“Praise seems superfluous for a book as accomplished, cohesive, and devastating as Lonely Christopher’s debut collection, so consider these words admiration instead, and admonishment: if you still think fiction counts for anything, then you should buy this book right now.”
—Dale Peck, author of What We Lost and Time To Say Goodbye

“Lonely Christopher, as his name suggests, knows despair as only a hobo or a clown can. This knowledge animates his fiction and provides each story with a humor that belies the terrible things that happen to his men, women, children, and animals. His formal experimentation will reward readers who have been craving a Huysmans sort of Nick Drake sort of Andy Kaufman killer writer. These readers will, like all good boys and girls, go to bed happy at last.”
—Kevin Killian, author of Impossible Princess and Action Kylie

“Lonely Christopher’s debut collection introduces a kind of story which simultaneously reads as new and familiar. In fact, everything here happens in the context of family: mother, father, brother, sister, lover, neighbor, friend. It is you and it is not you, it is contained and it is vast. Syntactically deft, playful with proper nouns, steadily wondrous within the quotidian, it also, remarkably, fulfills a promise: each story is indeed an excavation of The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse, which is its excellent title. Reading it gives me a perverse and giddy sensation; I was deeply happy when I finished this book.”
—Rachel Levitsky, author of Neighbor and Under the Sun


A selection of Dennis Cooper’s Little House on the Bowery series.

Two boys lie on a bed, one of them is already dead; they listen to Glenn Gould playing Bach and talk about suicide and love. A lonely narrator mourns the end of a relationship and the disappearance of a mysterious object as a frustrated artist jumps out of a moving car on his birthday and runs for the last streetlamp in the universe. Awkward parents and angsty teens negotiate a dark suburban landscape, searching for something they can’t name, spelling out balletic sentences of failure and shame. Helicopters menace the night sky, a horse is murdered in a kitchen, victims go missing in swamps of ambiguity, and everybody waits for what the construction of a new road into town will bring: the end of the world or something worse.

The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse, a radical map of shortcomings in our daily experiences in the form of a debut story collection, presents thematically related windows into serious emotional trouble and monstrous love. Lonely Christopher combines a striking emotional grammar with an unyielding imagination in the lovely-ugly architecture of his stories.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Published: 1/11/11
  • IBSN: 9781936070800
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750168


LONELY CHRISTOPHER is the author of several poetry chapbooks, The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse, and the volume Into (with Christopher Sweeney and Robert Snyderman). As a librettist and playwright, his dramatic works have been published and staged in New York City and internationally, as well as released in Mandarin translation. He is a founding member of the small press The Corresponding Society and an editor of its biannual journal Correspondence. He lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

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