Recent Comments


    The Book of Casey Adair

    By Michele Karlsberg–

    Michele Karlsberg: Readers of all persuasions will relate to the flawed and deeply human characters in The Book of Casey Adair by Ken Harvey. With its themes of how we confront both authoritarianism and a pandemic, the novel may take place four decades ago, but it is painfully relevant now more than ever. 

    Please enjoy an excerpt from The Book of Casey Adair:

    From Casey in Boston to Gustavo in Madrid December 9, 1984

    Dear Gustavo,

    I must be violating every rule of etiquette by writing to you for the second time out-of-turn, but I’m feeling such a connection with you right now that it’s impossible to keep quiet. Yesterday morning I was released from a New York City jail. I was arrested at a demonstration held in front of the New York City mayor’s mansion to protest the lack of response to the AIDS crisis.

    Right before the demonstration, one of the leaders briefed us on some rules for non-violent protest. He told people to put away their umbrellas, because if the police came, anything we held would be seen as a weapon. We then formed a line along the fence and across the driveway.

    At first things were low-key, especially compared to the demonstration you and I went to in Madrid. We walked back and forth with our signs (“Living With AIDS, Dying from Our Mayor” in English and Spanish; a photo of Mayor Koch with the words, “I’d Fight AIDS If I Only Had a Heart”). One guy took about half a dozen pairs of handcuffs out of his backpack. He cuffed himself to the metal gate, and urged others to do the same. The only thing that I was thinking was, “I have to do something.” I grabbed one of the handcuffs and locked myself.

    I didn’t think about being arrested until I was attached to the fence, and I realized that without keys, the cops would have to come and remove us, which is exactly what they did. I lay limp, not resisting, but not helping either. They cut my handcuffs off only to slap another pair on me.

    I ended up in a jail cell with some of the other guys from the demonstration. Between the paperwork and it being a busy Saturday night, we weren’t released until this morning, but only after we were formally charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. I took the next train out of New York to Boston. I’m writing you this letter as we pass Hartford, Connecticut. My court date isn’t until January, but our lawyer thinks we can come to some agreement before then.

    While I was in jail, I thought of you a lot, Gustavo. I thought of you bloodied as they carried you away during the demonstration you organized in Madrid. I thought about how you lost your vision in one eye while protesting the attempted coup. Your courage anchored me this weekend. I thank you for that.

    Time to sign off. I promise I won’t write you any more letters until you write me back.

    Hugs from your friend,

    (From The Book of Casey Adair by Ken Harvey. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. © 2021 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.)

    Ken Harvey’s work has been published in over twenty literary magazines. His book of short stories, “If You Were With Me, Everything Would Be All Right,” won the Violet Quill Award for Best Gay Fiction of the Year and was named one of the “twenty books of note” by the Lambda Literary Review. The book was also translated into Italian and received enthusiastic reviews in Italy. His memoir, “A Passionate Engagement,” was honored by the American Library Association as a Rainbow Book.

    For more information:

    Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBTQ+ community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates 33 years of successful marketing campaigns. For more information:

    Published on January 27, 2022