Born to Jamaican parents in the Bronx, Glave grew up there and in Kingston, Jamaica. Glave is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Brown University. He is a professor of English at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he teaches creative writing and courses on Caribbean, African-American, black British, postcolonial, and queer literatures, among other topics.
A two-time New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Glave's early short story, "The Final Inning," originally published in The Kenyon Review, won an O. Henry Award in 1997 while Glave was still a graduate student at Brown University. With this award, Glave became the second and only gay African American writer, after James Baldwin, to have won an O. Henry Award. "The Final Inning" appears in Glave's first fiction collection, Whose Song? and Other Stories, published by City Lights in 2000. Glave's essay collection Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent won the Lambda Literary Award in 2005. Glave earned a second Lambda Literary Award in 2009 for his groundbreaking anthology, Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (Duke University Press, 2008).
In addition to these honors, Glave has also earned a Fine Arts Center in Provincetown Fellowship (1995–96) and a Fulbright Fellowship to Jamaica (1998–99). While in Jamaica that year, he worked on issues of social justice, and helped found the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG). In 2008 he was invited to MIT to teach as Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. He is presently a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.
Thomas Glave is the author of Whose Song? and Other Stories (City Lights, 2000), The Torturer's Wife (City Lights, 2008), the essay collection Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent (University of Minnesota Press, 2005), and is editor of the anthology Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (Duke University Press, 2008).
Whose Song? garnered considerable praise upon its publication, drawing admiration from writers like Nadine Gordimer, Gloria Naylor, Clarence Major, and stellar reviews in publications like The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hartford Courant, the Toronto Globe and Mail, and many others.
Whose Song?: And Other Stories by Thomas Glave
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: City Lights Publishers; First Edition edition (October 1, 2000)
Amazon: Whose Song?: And Other Stories
“Thomas Glave walks the path of such greats in American literature as Richard Wright and James Baldwin . . . he cuts to the bone of what it means to be black in America, white in America, gay in America, and human in the world at large.” — Gloria Naylor
The words to every song on earth are buried deep somewhere. Songs that must be sung, that must never be sung. That must be released from deep within the chest yet pulled back and held. Plaintive and low, they rail; buried forever beneath the passing flesh, alone and cold, they scream. The singer must clutch them to the heart, where they are sanctified, nurtured, healed. Songs which finally must be released yet recalled, in that place where no one except the singer ever comes, in one hand caressing the keys of life wounded, ravaged, in the other those of the precious skin and life revealed. The three of them and Cassandra know the words. Lying beneath them now and blind, she knows the words. Tasting turpentine and fire, she knows the words. -- Hell no, yo, that bitch ain't dead.-- A voice. -- Fucked up, yo. The rag's in her mouth, how we gone get some mouth action now?-- -- Aw, man, fuck that shit.-- Who says that? -- My turn. My turn.-- They know the words.
Night. Hell, no, broods the dim, that bitch ain't dead. Hasn't uttered half a sound since they began; hasn't opened her eyes to let the night look in again; hasn't breathed to the soft beating of the nightbird's wing. The turpentine rag in place. Cassandra, Cassandra. The rag, in place. Cassandra. Is she feeling something now? Cassandra. Will they do anything more to her now? Cassandra, will they leave you there? Focusing on flies, not meeting each other's eyes, will they leave you there? Running back from the burning forests behind their own eyes, the crackling and the shame? Will they leave you there? -- Push that bitch out on the ground, the one they call Dee says. -- Over there, by them cars and shit.-- Rusty cars, a dumping ground. So, Cassandra. Yes. They'll leave you there. Were they afraid? Happy? Who can tell? Three dark boys, three men, driving away in a battered car. Three boy-men, unseen, flesh, minds, heart. Flame. In their car.
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