The Milkman’s on his Way – David Rees

TMOHW(Not discussed by the group but written in a personal capacity.)

This was written for gay teens and caused quite a stir when it was published. The controversy led to some councils and local political parties adopting gay-positive policies including commitments to end discrimination against gay men and lesbians and to the Tory government seeking to ban such things..

I was privileged to meet the author once. He’d taught English in a comprehensive and later went on to train teachers in Exeter, so he knows how to write. His literary output, mainly aimed at young people, was prolific.

The stages of Rees’s writing career corresponded with his own personal development. Rees didn’t fully come to terms with his homosexuality until relatively late in life (after marriage and fatherhood). ‘I came out when I was 37 and had my first novel accepted for publication that year. The two things are inextricably bound up together, there’s no doubt about it.’

This novel sold in excess of 25,000 copies and is probably the most successful British gay novel to have appeared from a small, specialist press, helped perhaps by the controversy surrounding it during the passage of Clause into Section 28.

Ewan Macrea is a 14 year old, living by the seaside in Bude. He’s a surfer and is having difficulties dealing with his lack of interest in girls and his growing fascination with his best mate Leslie.

TMOHW 2 Quotations:

Growing up gay, beginning as a teenager, to realize what you are: that’s when you start to suffer. Just when everyone else is becoming involved with the opposite sex, you’re alone in having to hide your feelings. Impossible to talk to anybody. It’s not something you want to blurt out to your parents, obviously. Or to your teachers, Or to the boy you fancy: He’d jeer at you or hit you.The only salvation is to find people like yourself. And that’s a big step. A very big step.

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