What are thought to be the first gay-themed novellas to ever be published in South Africa will be available in selected book stores in May.

Under its Gay Junkets imprint, independent Junkets Publisher has followed up the successes it had with Yes, I am! writing by South African gay men and The Young Gay Guys Guide to Safer Gay Sex by announcing the publication of the new book, Adam & Luke by Peter Krummeck.

Under this joint cover-title, the book consists of two separate novellas: Adam van Eden and According to Luke.

“I’m not 100% sure,” said Robin Malan, the publisher, “but I think these may well be the first two gay novellas to be published in English in South Africa.”

Each of the novellas deals with an older married man’s attraction to a younger man, and the conflicted state in which that attraction leaves him. And what is the effect of this on the wife? And the younger man – does anyone take account of his feelings and his desires?

According to the publishers, Peter Krummeck’s conviction that sexual orientation is not black or white but every shade of grey has found expression in these novellas.

In Adam van Eden, Krummeck draws on his personal experience of sexual discrimination within the church to highlight the damage inherent in fundamentalist condemnation, while According to Luke explores the anguished disruption of a heterosexual marriage.

“It seems to me that society’s approach to gender ranges from complete intolerance of any departure from the patriarchal status quo to total acceptance and integration of gender in all forms of expression,” commented Krummeck.

He was encouraged to follow this line of thinking when working as a lay-minister for the Anglican Church under the mentorship of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the mid-1980s. Many churches at that time were inclined to “hate the sin, but love the sinner.”

Krummeck, who wrote the 1994 gay teleplay Dear and Awkward Courage and the award-winning HIV/Aids play iVirgin Boy, added: “In typical fashion, Tutu rattled their cages and obliged them to re-think both ‘love’ and ‘sin’.”

In fact, Tutu is quoted on the Adam & Luke cover as saying: “These novellas… explore the wider spectrum of our God-given sexuality.”

Adam & Luke will be launched on Friday 11 May 2012 at 5.15 p.m. during the Franschhoek Literary Festival at Ebony.

Earlier on that day, Krummeck will join Richard de Nooy and Mark Behr as members of a panel discussing ‘Gay writing: niche to mainstream?’ This will take place at 4 p.m. in the Church Hall in Huguenot Street.

To order Adam & Luke, email for details.

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