Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Evening Hour, a Finalist for the 2013 Oregon Book Award and the Lambda Literary Debut Fiction Award. He is the recipient of the 2013 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award.
In 1980, at eighteen, Brian, like so many other promising young gay men, arrived in New York City without much more than a love for the freedom and release from his past that it promised. But within six short years, AIDS would claim his lover, his friends, and his future. With nothing left in New York but memories of death, Brian decides to write his mother a letter asking to come back to the place he was once so desperate to escape.
The Prettiest Star is part Dog Years by Mark Doty and part Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. The resulting novel is as harrowing and full of life as any contemporaneous document from that time. But it is also an urgent story now: it a novel about the politics and fragility of the body; it is a novel about sex and shame. And it is a novel that speaks to a new generation of readers, both queer and straight, who have struggled with the question of what home and family means when we try to forge a life for ourselves in a world that can be harsh and unpredictable. It is written at the far reaches of love and understanding, and zeroes in on the moments where those two forces reach for each other, and sometimes touch.
Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Evening Hour. He is the recipient of the 2013 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award, and has been awarded scholarships to Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, VCCA, and the MacDowell Colony. His essays and fiction have appeared in various publications, including Guernica, Bellevue Literary Review, and BuzzFeed, and he is the editor of Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity. Carter is Assistant Professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University, where he teaches in the Bluegrass Writers Studio Low-Residency MFA program.