Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear, by Jeff Mann


Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear

Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear

by Jeff Mann

The autobiographical essays in Edge offer insight into the passions of acclaimed author Jeff Mann. These memories, insightful as they are endearing, range from his boyhood obsession with the gothic allure of Dark Shadows, to the doubt and pain of being a Southerner, and so at the edge of the gay community, and the appeal of leather bars and bear culture. Mann also visits many gay meccas in several of these essays — the resorts of Key West, Provincetown, and Rehoboth Beach, along with several European destinations such as Germany, Ireland, Belgium, and Scotland, have important cameos.

But he is never an idle traveler — he is challenged by his experiences, and his observations reveal the thoughts of many gay men. Along the way Mann ruminates on a variety of subjects, from lost lovers to kilts, theophany, Sylvia Plath, adult videos, and bathhouses.

Praise for Jeff Mann’s Edge:

“Given Mann’s impressive publishing record in poetry, fiction, and criticism, I was not surprised by the quality of these essays. Each stands alone, and while certain bare facts are repeated, they serve a new insight in a new context, avoiding the self-referential tautologies of many a memoir. Still, read the whole thing: Mann’s ascending spiral of self-knowledge is too deftly rendered to miss. These are damned good essays, shot through with a self-effacing generosity of spirit and an expansive affection for places, persons, and ideas. All this would be enough, but what makes Mann’s book a keeper is his clear-eyed (never cloying or vicious) yet tender (never sentimental) treatment of himself, the edges he’s traveled, and the ones he embodies. Never once, in this collection of essays, does Mann take the edge off. Most enthusiastically recommended.”   — Lee Benoit, “Rainbow Reviews”

“Mann writes about the things that matter most: his boyhood years in Appalachia and his career in Virginia Tech; his travels and his fascination with the gothic television series Dark Shadows. This leather bear pulls no punches in his frank depiction of his sexual and romantic experiences; the erotic tension that exists between a teacher and his student; and the similarities between homosexuals and vampires.” — Jesse Monteagudo, “The Book Nook”

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bear Bones Books; reissue (November 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • Category: GLBT, Travels
  • ISBN-10: 159021059X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590210598
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Softcover Price: $13.00

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Jeff Mann

Jeff Mann’s page

Table of Contents

  • Raised by Lesbians: Early Education of the Hinton Heathcliff
  • Watching Dark Shadow
  • Ecce Homo
  • Teaching Gay and Lesbian Literature
  • Kilts
  • Drambuie
  • Risks
  • Provincetown Triptych
  • Ludwig
  • Ireland
  • Key West