Dancing to the Lyrics is a timeless and timely coming-of-age tale. Through the eyes of the young protagonist, Grant Cole, we are offered a first-hand account of an African American gay youth who perseveres in spite of personal and family obstacles as well as the larger challenges of his era.
As Grant struggles to comprehend his own nature, his world, and the adults who populate it, he observes and emotionally reacts to the assassinations of MLK and RFK, the Baltimore riots, the Vietnam War and more. Poverty, accompanied by crime, violence and fear, is his frequent companion, but his own vivid imagination and close relationships with his younger sisters, various family members and friends bring hope and humor into his life.
While Grant witnesses the abuse of his mother at the hands of a cruel step-father, and discovers the man he doesn’t want to be, he strives continually toward understanding the person he was born to be. He learns crucial lessons from his life teachers: faith and pragmatism from his grandparents, and open-mindedness and self-acceptance from a diverse cast of unconventional but kindly characters woven throughout his story.
While very much an individual’s story of overcoming adversity during a specific point in time and place – 1960’s America – Dancing to the Lyrics also provides a lense through which we can view events in our current time. The lessons that young Grant learns are as relevant today as ever, and discerning them through the eyes of such an insightful youngster is a revelation.
Dancing to the Lyrics is available in ebook through Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, OverDrive, Baker & Taylor, Kobo and at Amazon in print and ebook.