elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Paul T. Rogers (1936 - September 12, 1984)

Paul Taylor Rogers, a writer who won the 1982 Editors' Book Award for his first novel, about the life of Times Square hustlers, was beaten to death in his Queens apartment by a 27-year-old drifter conspiring with the author's adopted son, Chris, to whom the novel was dedicated (“with my love and devotion, now and forever”). 48-year-old Paul T. Rogers, whose novel ''Saul's Book'' was well- received by reviewers and readers, was found in a closet in his apartment by the superintendent of his building at 86-05 60th Road in Rego Park. The police said he had been dead about 10 days.
Even now, 25 years after I first read it, Saul’s Book retains a certain terrible majesty. I remember buying a copy at a bookstore in Provincetown sometime in the early '80s — though whether on my first rapturous visit to that Sirens‘ Cove or my second (and last) disastrous one the following summer I can‘t properly recall. So much of the past is a painful blur. But I still have that original copy — a foxed and dog-eared Penguin paperback (the hardcover original had been published in 1982 by Pushcart Press) on whose lurid cover a young man, cigarette dangling from his mouth, looks wistfully toward a marquee advertising LIVE GAY BURLESK BOLD RASCALS XX MALE MOVIES XX. “A Times Square Hustler‘s Passionate Love Story” proclaims the book‘s own tawdry marquee. I think I bought Saul’s Book because the cover also claimed, in what seemed a forlorn stab at legitimacy, that the novel had won the first annual Editors‘ Book Award (whatever happened to that award, I wonder?). The brief biographical note described the first-time author as “a schoolteacher and a social worker,” and assured (reassured?) the curious (skeptical?) reader that “he knows firsthand the people and places found in his book.” –Paul Russell, The Lost Library
Further Reading:

Saul's Book by Paul T. Rogers
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Hard Candy; New edition edition (March 1983)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1563334623
ISBN-13: 978-1563334627
Amazon: Saul's Book

Winner of the First Annual Editors' Book Award. The story of a Times Square hustler called Sinbad the Sailor and Saul, a brilliant, self-destructive, alcoholic, thoroughly dominating character who may be the only love Sindab will ever know. Paul T. Rogers' insight into life and devotion in New York's most infamous district made Saul's Book a literary sensation; the author's tragic demise in that same world made his first and only novel legendary.

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Tags: author: paul t. rogers, gay classics, lost library

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