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Brad Gooch
(Writer)

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Profile created June 9, 2008
[1952 - ]
Fiction
  • Scary Kisses (1988)
    From the lost generation of Andy Warhol's New York to the cocaine-fueled runways of the top fashion houses of Paris and Milan, Scary Kisses captures the tenderness and cruelty of the beautiful people circa 1980, living behind the pages of Vogue and GQ. As a portrait of this time and this place, Scary Kisses shares a place with Bright Lights, Big City, Slaves of New York, and The Bonfire of the Vanities as a classic portrait of the seductive pull of Manhattan nightlife.

    The story centers on a menage á trois that drifts listlessly into a spiral of cynicism and nihilistic gratification. With raw, voyeuristic detail, Brad Gooch's precise, snapshot prose re-creates a time unlike any other, and characters that flash with a stark, bright realism.

  • Zombie 00 (2000)
    Meet "Zombie," a strange and wonderful young man growing up in Truckstown, Pennsylvania, whose earliest childhood memory of visiting the "Sacred Voodoo Chamber" (with its beautiful glowing rocks and mysterious mummy) in the nearby Scranton Art Museum leaves him in thrall and begins in him a process of "zombification" that will last a lifetime. Fear and worship become his guiding forces as he stumbles through life wondering if there are more of his kind or if he is alone. After a series of petty crimes, committed at the behest of his first "master," Zombie is given a one-way bus ticket to New York City, along with a tiny inheritance. He embarks on a weird, dark, surprisingly funny, and ultimately poignant odyssey where he meets those who will be responsible for his destiny, which unfolds after a trip to Haiti where he explores the ancient African religions where the loas rule. Zombie is a unique story, a fable that dares to explore the dark recesses of human desire.

  • Golden Age of Promiscuity (1996)
    The author of Scary Kisses delivers a shocking and powerful novel about the gay club scene in New York in the 1970s. Sean Devlin leaves Columbia University to pursue the downtown life of an avant-garde filmmaker, in the tradition of Warhol. As Sean slowly becomes a famous filmmaker, readers pass through an erotic, decadent, lost world of drugs, dim lights, and strange rooms.

Non-fiction
  • Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor (2009 release)
    The landscape of American literature was fundamentally changed when Flannery O'Connor stepped onto the scene with her first published book, Wise Blood, in 1952. Her fierce, sometimes comic novels and stories reflected the darkly funny, vibrant, and theologically sophisticated woman who wrote them. Brad Gooch brings to life O'Connor's significant friendships--with Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Hardwick, Walker Percy, and James Dickey among others--and her deeply felt convictions, as expressed in her communications with Thomas Merton, Elizabeth Bishop, and Betty Hester. Hester was famously known as "A" in O'Connor's collected letters, The Habit of Being, and a large cache of correspondence to her from O'Connor was made available to scholars, including Brad Gooch, in 2006. O'Connor's capacity to live fully--despite the chronic disease that eventually confined her to her mother's farm in Georgia--is illuminated in this engaging and authoritative biography.

  • Dating the Greek Gods: Empowering Spiritual Messages on Sex and Love, Creativity and Wisdom (2003)
    When Brad Gooch began promoting his self-help book Finding the Boyfriend Within, the first of its kind directed toward a gay readership, he was overwhelmed by the response it generated. Thousands of gay men embraced the book's message of looking into themselves to find comfort and purpose in life. So enthusiastic was the response to the book that Gooch began conducting workshops and, in the process, conceived Dating the Greek Gods as both a follow-up and a companion to the earlier book -- a self-help book designed as a sort of "advanced class" for readers of Finding the Boyfriend Within.

    Because of the conflicted reaction many gay men have to any discussion of religious spirituality, Gooch hit upon the idea of drawing on an older spiritual base -- that of Ancient Greece -- for examining and explaining his approach to achieving a higher understanding of self through spirituality. The stories of the Greek gods have inspired human consciousness for more than thirty centuries, the outgrowth of a society in which homosexuality was an accepted aspect of human behavior. Dating the Greek Gods explores these stories as well as the dominant characteristics of those Greek deities, tying the spirituality of being a gay male to the inner patterns -- or archetypes -- that shape men's personalities and personal relationships.

    Gooch organizes the book into a series of meditations and personal exercises shaped around the characters, stories, and dominant traits of the deities. For example, in chapter one, Apollo addresses wisdom; chapter two concerns Dionysus and deals with sexuality and disco nights; chapter three is about Hermes and concerns communication, and so on, from Hephaestos and Eros (creativity and romance) to Zeus (independence and freedom). Gooch delves into these enduring archetypes to show men how, by understanding the philosophy behind these gods, they can come to better understand themselves and, in the process, enrich their lives.

    Unique in its approach and totally accessible in its realization, Dating the Greek Gods is an enlightened and literary self-help book that encourages readers to turn to their own inner oracle -- the inner voice that prompted them to "come out" in the first place -- and in the process to revitalize themselves through viewing the world's spiritual traditions in a more inclusive and caring fashion.

  • Godtalk: Travels in Spiritual America (2002)
    From the author of City Poet, the brilliant biography of Frank O’Hara, now comes a fascinating account of thriving forms of spirituality in what is being called a “post-denominational” age.

    As the nineties were drawing to a close, Brad Gooch set out on a journey to explore traditional and nontraditional forms of spirituality that took him across America and to India. Gooch’s quest—partly personal and partly investigative—took him to Chicago to read the mysterious Urantia Book; to Goa and La Jolla to experience the talks and treatments of Deepak Chopra; to Ganeshpuri and South Fallsburg, New York, to listen to the charismatic leader Gurumayi Chidvilasananda; to Bardstown, Kentucky, to observe the quiet solitude of the Trappists and to Dubuque, Iowa, to see the Trappistines; to Dallas to worship with the members of the gay congregation of the Cathedral of Hope; and to New York to talk with Muslims and Sufis. As Gooch proceeded on this unique spiritual odyssey—from fringe to mainstream—he witnessed diverse movements and religions and their strong appeal to a broad spectrum of followers.

    Brad Gooch has written a revealing, richly detailed document of our time. In Godtalk, character, dialogue, and setting come together in an irresistible, fast-paced narrative that is both engaging and informative about the unexpected nature of spirituality in America today.

  • Finding the Boyfriend Within: A Practical Guide for Tapping into Your Own Source of Love, Happiness, and Respect (1999)
    In the tradition of the perennial bestseller I'm OK, You're OK, noted author Brad Gooch offers single and coupled gay men a provocative, sophisticated, and inspirational guide that addresses the big issues of love, romance, and being alone. Part memoir, part self-help, Finding the Boyfriend Within is a remarkably practical and helpful guide in the quest for self-discovery for the thousands of gay men who despair of ever being in a committed relationship.

    Filled with anecdotes, romantic advice, problem-solving suggestions, and humor -- as well as wisdom from both the East and West -- Finding the Boyfriend Within offers simple self-awareness exercises to help discover the respect, happiness, and love that come first, and most enduringly, from within.

  • City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara (1993)
    Brilliant biography of Frank O’Hara.

  • Billy Idol (1985)

  • Hall & Oates (1984)

Short Stories
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