News & Reviews

PRAISE FOR TWO NATURES

First Prize, Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction; First Runner-Up, Debut Gay Book: 2016 Rainbow Awards

From the judges’ reports:

“Jendi has built a great world within these pages. It is heart-breaking and yet satisfying in the end. It is a well done, well-written book, one that will leave you wanting more out of it. The protagonists, as well as all the people involved within the pages, are quite likable and the reader is simply involved as part of the story.”

“This is one of the best books I read for this year’s Rainbow awards. Beautifully written, it touched a chord in me that I can’t quite explain but I will be looking for more from this author.”

 

Finalist, 2016 Lascaux Prize in Fiction

Finalist, LGBTQ Fiction, 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards

Finalist, LGBTQ Fiction, 2017 Book Excellence Awards

Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review:

“It’s rare to discover within a gay love story an equally-powerful undercurrent of political and spiritual examination. Too many gay novels focus on evolving sexuality or love and skim over underlying religious values systems; but one of the special attributes of Two Natures isn’t just its focus on duality, but its intense revelations about what it means to be both Christian and gay.”

 

Meredith King, Diverse Reader:

“Talk about a debut novel that grabs you, bleeds you, and makes you cry until you’re raw. It’s one of those books that when it ends you realize you stopped breathing.”

 

Novelist Hans M. Hirschi’s blog:

“It is exactly the honesty, the unbridled truth told in Two Natures that makes this book so amazing. In fact, for all I know, Julian Selkirk is just a pseudonym for a real gay man living in New York in his mid-forties, married, no kids. I am deeply indebted to Ms Reiter for writing ‘our’ story, the story of gay men growing of age in the nineties so honestly, so candidly…Two Natures is an exquisite work of art, beautiful literary writing that enriches the LGBT section of any book store and Kindle, and it adds a beautiful facet to the mosaic of LGBT life past.”

 

Tim in California, Gay Story Reviews:

“Reiter skillfully weaves humor and pathos.. [T]he telling of Julian’s story is very true to real life… Two Natures is a book I would easily recommend and I would absolutely pick up another book by Jendi Reiter, whose descriptions and humor keep reading a pleasure.”

 

Angie Gallion, Gallion Picks Reviews:

“Julian touches the underbelly of New York City, and we are witness to it. Reiter does a great job of bringing the city, and all of her locales to life… Reiter does exactly what I like in a book, she lets me walk as the character.  I am Julian as he struggles against the traditions of his family and the calling of his own soul. I feel his turmoil as he moves through this time in his life and I feel his heart break, along with his joy… People are people, regardless of their trappings, we all want the same things of lives, to be safe, to know love, to be accepted. You will cheer for Julian in his triumphs, you will weep for him in his despair. You will know him.”

 

Tinky Weisblat, The Recorder (Greenfield MA):

“Julian is an engaging protagonist. His friends are varied and often funny, and Reiter’s careful, evocative prose brings the reader vividly into his life and world. Julian’s struggles to establish a career, find a home and connect with someone with whom he can share his life will ring true to anyone who has ever been a young person trying to become established in the big city.”

 

Trudie Barreras, 5-star review on Goodreads:

“This book offers an amazing level of honesty and insight. Like the earlier work of Patricia Nell Warren, Reiter’s representation of gay male psychology and eroticism is clear-eyed and unabashed. Although Reiter is investigating the link between sexuality and spirituality in this narrative, as well as presenting a deeply incisive exploration of the social and cultural aspects of the urban LGBTQ community during the AIDS crisis, she is not heavy-handed or in any way ‘preachy’. Her main characters and many of the peripheral cast members are sympathetically and vividly described. Julian himself is voiced with wry and biting humor.”

 

T Christopher, Goodreads:

“A marvelous book. I enjoyed Julian’s story so much and found it very relatable. There were so many beautiful, little surprises (‘Spring Chicken Perfume’) and a great many laugh out loud moments. It brought up a lot of memories for me—young men who had to shoulder more responsibility and grief than was reasonable for their years, and too many who never got to grow up and old. Too many losses. I really appreciate the characterization of Julian—so on the ball in so many ways, and yet so readily apt to drop it. Very realistic. Reiter is a marvelous writer and this is a rich, wonderful, and heartbreaking, story. I enjoyed reading it very much.”

 

Nocturnalux, Goodreads:

Two Natures is in all respects very honest. It does not shy from being graphic, painful, at times horrifying, often moving, all without caring for niceties. The comprehensive scope of the endeavor has its own artistic vision, both in-universe—Julian strives to capture some form of beauty—and at a structural level as the novel is almost flawless in how it harnesses highly personal moments to turn into literature. Ultimately, Two Natures questions the very notion of ‘either/or’ system: perhaps there is a way of sublimating truth into beauty, or vice-versa, and reach an integrated way of feeling in which one can be true to oneself and still find actual love. There are no guarantees but the mere possibility is enough.”

 

Melissa, 5-star review on Goodreads:

“Beautifully crafted, raw, makes you understand just what it was like coming out in the 90’s. Hard to believe this is a debut novel, as this reads like a literary classic. The main character is full of depth, and if this book isn’t on the New York Times best seller list someday, I’ll be shocked.”

 

Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen:

“It is a pleasure to read a novel that is literary in all of its aspects. I also found that the issue of faith that is so important to me is beautifully handled here…We all know someone like Julian and many of us see ourselves in him. The highest praise that I can give this book is to say that ‘I love it’ and I do. Julian is an everyman and in that he is a composite of so many gay personalities. You owe to yourselves to read this wonderful novel.”

 

Kittredge Cherry, Jesus in Love Blog:

“The dense and varied literary coming-of-age novel ranges from comic scenes that could easily become a hit movie to the explicitly sexual and the touchingly tragic. Reiter brings alive LGBTQ touchstones of the era: the visit from out-of-town and out-of-it parents to their closeted son, the AIDS death and awkward funeral, and so on…The novel is also significant as an example of how a new generation tries to make sense of an AIDS crisis that they were too young to experience firsthand.”

 

Novelist A.M. Leibowitz’s blog:

“There’s a lot covered in this novel, and the title says it best. Everything in Julian’s life is split, and he spends most of the story trying to make whole the things he sees as fractured. Despite the fact that there’s a sub-thread about the religion of his youth, it actually doesn’t factor in much beyond his musings until near the end. However, his broken trust in his faith and family of origin drive nearly every other relationship he has. It’s vital for people of faith to read this with the understanding of how religious institutions create and contribute to the oppression specifically of the LGBT community.”

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save