What are the roots of personal identity? In this collection of essays, James Morrison searches for answers within the experiences and emotional reality of his own childhood in an attempt to pinpoint the beginnings of his own gay self-identity.
Although from the vantage point of my present self, I do not remember a time in my life when I was not 'gay,' I know that the arrival at any avowed identity is always a complex process of affirmation and negation, refusal and identification.It is this process, and specifically the ways gay identity circulates before it is even spoken, that Morrison seeks to distill in specific experiences. From the beginnings of questioning his religion to exploring his first boyhood attractions, Morrison's experiences are chronicled honestly and compellingly.
Praise for Broken Fever:
Broken Fever is a wonderfully thoughtful (and sometimes comic) memoir. ...A very intelligent and moving account of James Morrison's early youth, the book is also a portrait of the artist, and a brilliant meditation on the dangerous attractiveness of illness-as-a-cure for a psychic and worldly malady. In many senses at once, the book is a triumph.
—Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love, Saul and Patsy, and The Soul Thief
Broken Fever isn't an easy book to place, but it belongs on your bookshelf—somewhere between Marcel Proust and David Sedaris.
—Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, author of Epistemology of the Closet, A Dialogue on Love and Touching Feeling
Measured, funny, extremely elegant...There are people whose vision is porous, and then there are those with increasing levels of fineness of vision, like James Morrison, who seems to have been born with an extra filter in his eyes.
—Allan Gurganus, author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All
Rarely is [childhood] written about in as fresh a manner. ...Broken Fever exquisitely mixes essay, memoir, fiction.
Morrison's essays ring with fine-tuned, dead-on language. ...Illuminating and heartbreaking.
—Lambda Book Report
Morrison brings the authorial power of a fiction writer, philosophical density and cinematic drive to these pages. He is a master stylist, and this is literary nonfiction at its best.
—Mary Cappello, author of Night Bloom and Awkward: A Detour
[E]legantly crafted ... [Morrison's] delicate, extended examination of difference — in the classroom, on the playground, in his family and even as a reader — make[s] this nuanced memoir resonate. ...Morrison's memoir has a freshness and rich depth that set it apart.