A breathtaking, heart-bruising debut, the story of a hidden life, and the very recent history of gay love in America.
Set in a declining textile town in North Carolina, Hide is the love story of Wendell Wilson, a taxidermist, and Frank Clifton, a veteran of World War II. They meet after the war, in a time when such love holds real danger. But, severing nearly all ties with the rest of the world, they carve out a home for themselves on the outskirts of town and for decades the routine of self-reliant domesticity--Wendell's cooking, Frank's care for a yard no one sees, and the vicarious drama of courtroom TV--seems to protect them.
But when Wendell finds Frank lying motionless outside at the age of eighty-three, their carefully crafted life together begins to unravel. As Frank's physical strength deteriorates and his memory dissolves, Wendell struggles in vain to keep him healthy and to hold onto the man he once knew until, faced with giving care beyond his capacity, he must come to terms with the consequences of half a century in seclusion, the sacrifices they made for each other, and the different lives they might have lived--and most especially the impending, inexorable loss of the one they had.
Impossibly tender, gently funny, and gorgeously rendered, Hide is a singularly powerful debut.
Matthew Griffin a graduate of Wake Forest University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Previously, he was assistant to the director of Highlander Research and Education Center, a renowned hub of grassroots organizing for social justice throughout the South and Appalachia. He was born and raised in North Carolina and now lives in Louisiana with his husband and too many pets. This is his first novel.
“Tough but compassionate and beautifully observed. A moving story about the persistence of love.” —Maggie Shipstead
“Reading Hide, I kept saying to myself, ‘At last!’: a novel that follows the trajectory of a marriage (in fact if not in name) between two men over the course of decades, and does so with grit, humor, and compassion! Hide is a welcome and important work.” —David Leavitt
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