How could a wintry heart possess so much summer?
Spontaneous combustion occurs when Bill, a forty-year-old barista and a failed poet, meets James, a disabled factory worker and a daddy hunk, at an OctoBear Dance. For six months they share weekends of incredible passion at James’s house up north in the country. Winter has never seemed hotter in their flannel sheets. But on the first day of spring James abruptly informs Bill over the phone that it’s not going to work out and hangs up. No further explanation: just the static of silence. Feeling haunted like Djuna Barnes while she wrote her novel Nightwood in the 1930s, Bill searches for answers in his recollections of James and others who’d departed too early from his life. When he does discover why James left, the answer comes from a mysterious stranger with secrets of his own.
2017 Quill Editor’s Choice
“Luczak has masterfully done what so many writers have only attempted—he’s not just paid homage to a favorite book, in this case Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood, but he’s also learned enough from it to rescue his protagonist from the echo of its fate. This is a wise and poetic book, with a breadth of thematic content ranging from disability and intimacy to profound questions about masculinity, alienation, and healing. Luczak has written a serious recounting of a profound love so rare these days—why, not since Djuna Barnes!” —Trebor Healey, author of Faun and A Horse Named Sorrow
“Lyrical and erotic, Flannelwood deftly melds an aching tale of romantic loss with prose poetry and depictions of disability that transcend clichés. Particularly fascinating is the way this love letter of a novel parallels Djuna Barnes’s classic Nightwood, both in its search for answers and its achievement of an elegant revenge.” —Jeff Mann, author of Country and Insatiable
“Raymond Luczak’s sexy new novel speaks to the profound struggles of making our way into and fighting our way out of the intricate love webs of the heart—every battle scar and stretchmark, every bite and kiss, every trauma and triumph, shines a strange yet beautiful light on our queer unstoppable lives.” —Rigoberto González, author of What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth