Friday, September 6, 2019

Derek Milman

Derek Milman has worked as a playwright, screenwriter, film school teacher, DJ, and underground humor magazine publisher. A classically trained actor, he has performed on stages across the country and appeared in numerous TV shows, commercials, and films. Milman currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, where he writes full time. Swipe Right for Murder is his second novel for young adults.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Milman's reply:
I'm reading On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. It's about a Vietnamese man's coming of age, structured in the form of a letter to his mother who can't read. I really do like it, though it's flawed. Little Dog details his childhood growing up in Hartford, CT. Poetic and lyrical, the novel reaches for the stars, but the formless structure of the story, and the airy (at times fragile) writing, doesn't fully fuel the book's ambitions. At times the writing is gorgeous, almost ungodly beautiful, but the story spirals, attempting to explore poverty, race, the scars of the Vietnam War, Tiger Woods, The Opioid Crisis, and a young boy's abusive relationship with his mother. As a result, I never felt like I fully understood this particular mother/son relationship in the context of the story; it remained hazy for me. Despite the searing imagery, and Vuong's skill with language, the scope seemed too wide for his sparse, focused writing. But where the novel truly finds its light is its depiction of Little Dog's sexual and emotional awakening with a bruised, troubled, almost feral boy named Trevor. In this we have one of the most primal, brutal, heartbreaking, and truthful LGBT love stories ever told.
Visit Derek Milman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue