June–Pride 2021 Selection
The prolific, multi-talented Oakland-based artist Brontez Purnell is this month’s On The Same Page selected author for his short story collection, 100 Boyfriends.
Purnell brings his punk-rock aesthetic to the short story form with the kaleidoscopic 100 Boyfriends, bending and breaking the rules, to create a delightfully smutty vision of the highs and lows of contemporary queer desire. Romantic misadventure lurks everywhere—from gentrified Oakland to desolate farm towns in Alabama—in these picaresque tales of boyfriends and ex-boyfriends, dating and relationships, hook ups and break ups. Purnell’s characters, Black, broke, and queer, face a world that consistently tries to dismiss them. With an abundance of attitude, and a touch of vulnerability, the characters consistently, and unapologetically, go for what they want.
“I called them ‘boyfriends,’ though this was not always the case. But they were all like pieces of bubblegum you chew hours after the flavor leaves and that you accidentally swallow, and then (supposedly) sit in your guts for seven years.”
About the Author
Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children's book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Writers' Award for Fiction, he was named one of the thirty-two Black Male Writers of Our Time by T: The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, a cofounder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and the documentary Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock.