Walt Odets is a clinical psychologist and writer. He is the author of In the Shadow of the Epidemic: Being HIV-Negative in the Age of AIDS, and has also contributed chapters to seven anthologies about the lives of gay men. He lives in Berkeley, where he has practiced psychology since 1987.
[Odets's] writing is poignant and achingly beautiful--so much so, in fact, that I occasionally had to put the book down to avoid weeping on the subway. There's sadness in Odets's life story, but there's mostly resilience, tenderness and a willingness to fashion an unapologetic gay life, sometimes against all odds. (The exquisitely told story of Odets's longtime friend and lover, who fled a trailer he shared with a brutally homophobic family and built a life bursting with meaning and intimacy, is the most compelling story of gay self-actualization I've ever encountered.) --Benoit Denizet-Lewis, The New York Times Book Review "Odets' trifecta of social commentary, memoir and therapeutic analysis is an astute statement on how to overcome trauma, loss and isolation to live a proud, self-actualized and fulfilling existence as a gay man . . . The final two chapters in which he describes the long road to coming out and his deep love for his lifelong companion, Matthias, and Matthias' partner, Hank, are some of the most on-point and beautifully written thoughts on love, acceptance and family I've read in some time." --Alexis Burling, San Francisco Chronicle [A] fascinating exploration of gay male lives . . . Odets's warm and lyrical voice, his inspiring picture of how imaginative gay life can be, has sent me queuing for the couch. I have a feeling that many other readers will follow. --Marcus Field, London Evening Standard A book full of heart . . . Impressively sound and based on a wealth of research and experience. --Steven Cordova, Lambda Literary "[A] soaring combination of social critique, memoir, and manifesto . . . [Odets's] discussions of gay men's sexual expression and relationships are frank, compassionate, and open-minded . . . Odets's greatest strengths are his moving prose and ability to make the psychological material accessible and as fascinating and thought-provoking as the poignant stories. Gay men will find much to ponder here, but any reader can find meaning in this extraordinary, stirring invitation to re-examine assumptions about what it means to be gay and to have a good life." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "An insightful and thought-provoking book . . . A luminous humanity shines through, never more so than in the final chapter, the author's highly empathetic, memorable story of the three men he has loved. --Michael Cart, Booklist "[Walt Odets's] writing is perceptive and honest . . . This is an encouraging and deeply compelling study of how gay men can build meaningful identities." --Kirkus Reviews