The birthplace of the gay rights movement is almost inextricably tied to the Stonewall Inn Greenwich Village. On the 28th of June in 1969 cops raided the gay club—leading to days of protests and violence between law enforcement and residents of the Village. However, it was this uprising that prompted the LGBTQ+ movement for equality. Edward Cahill’s debut novel, Disorderly Men—a brilliant homage to the pre-Stonewall era—acts as an almost perfect pairing to activism walking tours in lower Manhattan.
If you are looking to journey on an activism walking tour to enrich your knowledge of hidden histories of the LGBTQ+ movement, then look no further. As one journeys through lower Manhattan, they will stumble upon multiple historic sights of significance. After, or even before, picking up Cahill’s novel, one can visit the places where those who were brave enough to use their voices fought for change. Cahill’s novel will undoubtedly enrich the experience of those who choose to explore City Hall, Wall Street, Battery Park, and other significant landmarks. Both the tours and novel serve as a means to both shed light on crucial moments in history and contribute to the celebration of inclusivity/equality.
What a wondrous world Cahill has created full of pathos and driven by memorable characters and a divinely complex plot. Beyond the historical realities of post-war America, the novel—in extravagant and seductive prose—explores the interior lives of gay men eager for pleasure and desperate to push beyond their own perpetual suffering. Disorderly Men is an absolute triumph.—Amber Dermont, author of The Starboard Sea
Edward Cahill’s wonderfully titled Disorderly Men is a bright, vivid, funny, smart homage to the pre-Stonewall era. A novel at once timeless and timely. —David Leavitt, author of Shelter in Place
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Story and style are perfectly aligned in Edward Cahill’s swiftly-paced period piece…utterly absorbing.– Passport
About Disorderly Men:
Three gay men in pre-Stonewall New York City find their fates thrown together in the police raid of a Village bar.
Roger Moorhouse is a Wall Street banker and Westchester family man with a preciously guarded secret. As the shouting begins and flashlights blaze in his face, the life he’s carefully curated over the years—a fancy new office overlooking lower Broadway, a house in Beechmont Woods, his wife and children—is about to come crashing down around him.
Columbia literature professor Julian Prince lives a comparatively uncloseted life when he finds his first committed relationship tested to its limits. How could he explain to Gus, a fearless young artist, that he couldn’t stay with him that weekend because the woman who was still technically Julian’s fiancée would be visiting? But when Gus is struck unconscious by a police baton, Julian comes out of hiding to protect him, even if exposure means losing everything.
For Danny Duffy, an Irish kid from the Bronx with a sassy mouth and a diverse group of friends, the raid is a galvanizing, Spartacus moment. Danny doesn’t have too much left to lose; his family has just disowned him. But once his name appears in the newspaper, he’ll be fired from his job at Sloan’s Supermarket, where he’s risen to assistant manager of produce, and begin a journey that veers between political enlightenment and violent revenge.
The three men find themselves in a police wagon together, their hidden lives threatened to be revealed to the world. Blackmail, a private investigator, Gus’s disappearance, and Danny’s quest for retribution propel Disorderly Men to its piercing conclusion, as each man meets the boundaries of his own fear, love, and shame. The stakes for each are different, but all of them confront a fundamental question: How much happiness is he allowed to have . . . and what share of it will he lay claim to?
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Edward Cahill is Professor of English at Fordham University, where he has been teaching since 2005. He is the author of Liberty of the Imagination: Aesthetic Theory, Literary Form, and Politics in the Early United States. Disorderly Men is his first novel. Living in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Cahill was able to immerse himself in the setting of his own novel.
After earning his Ph.D. from Rutgers University—where he studied British America literature and the early US Republic—he has since published numerous articles in journals such as American Literature, Early American Literature, Early American Studies, and ELH. Liberty of the Imagination: Aesthetic Theory, Literary Form, and Politics in the Early United States, his monograph, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012.
More recently, he has been teaching contemporary and modern fiction whilst writing novels. When asked his favorite authors to teach he replied with a diverse list: Jane Austen, Henry James, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alan Hollinghurst, Jennifer Egan, Ben Lerner, Tommy Orange, Ocean Vuong, Patricia Lockwood, and Rachel Kushner.
His debut novel, Disorderly Men, was published just this week by Empire State Editions, an imprint of Fordham University Press, and is the Press’s first original literary fiction release.
As of now, Professor Cahill will be in New York City on the 12th of September at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division (The LGBT Center). There he will be in conversation with Charles Kaiser, author of The Gay Metropolis.
On the 19th of September, he will be at Chevalier’s Books (133 N. Larchmont, LA, CA 90004) in conversation with Rasheed Newson, author of My Government Means to Kill Me.
And on the 20th of September, he will also be at Fabulosa Books (489 Castro St., SF, CA 94114) in conversation with K.M. Soehnlein, author of Army of Lovers. Don’t miss the chance to listen in on these great discussions next month!
Learn more about the author and his upcoming events at https://www.edwardcahill.net/
NYC WALKING TOURS: