Ricketts, Wendell, ed. “Everything I have is Blue: Short Fiction by Working Class Men about More-or-Less Gay Life”, Suspect Thoughts Press, 2005.
Wendell Ricketts has edited an amazing anthology of tender and angry fiction about the daily life of working class gays in “Everything I have is Blue”. The stories are easy to read, edgy and at times surprising. He has tapped into that group that we rarely hear about much less read literature from. This is an overdue look into the lives of average men—those that work in those jobs that we don’t always associate with our community even though we know they are there. We have stories by a trucker, a prisoner, a poet, a librarian, a retired professor, an activist a street mime among others. What makes these people special is the fact that they can write about ideology and culture. They write about love gone astray, about love in general, about loss, despair, revenge and salvation and give us a whole n literature—one of deep feelings and of the complexities of our culture.
In the last chapter entitled “Passing Notes in Class: Some Thoughts on Writing and Culture in the Ga(y)ted Community” the editor, Wendell Ricketts presents ideas on what he included in the anthology and explains the nature of his selections. He states that they capture the nature of life. There is some wonderful literature here and the collection does us proud. He explains that working class literature is as much a part of us and is an honest depiction of the way we live. Fiction is a volatile commodity and the stories here show just that. We have fascinating and refreshing short fiction that attempt to bring down the stereotypes that have been forced upon us by society. Our authors are aware of where they are in terms of society and their origins are evident in their writings. And this is the beauty of the book—the characters are who they are and nothing more. Here is a new perspective on our lives with a great deal of originality.