What Belongs to You

What Belongs to You

Book - 2016
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"On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a stairwell beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374288228
0374288224
9780374713188
Branch Call Number: FICTION GREENWELL 2016
Characteristics: 194 pages ; 22 cm

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HMWLibrary2017 Jul 14, 2017

First of all, I have spent a great deal of time in Bulgaria, and Greenwell's description rings absolutely true to me - decrepit but enduring. This book captures perfectly what it is to be an "average" American in over his head in a foreign land. There's a permeating sense of dislocation and curiosity that is reflected through a lens of erotic longing for the "other."

f
fantasyqueen
Nov 19, 2016

A very haunting story. Something many gay men can probably relate to since they have experienced it in one way or another. I have and so the story touched me.

g
gauchetal
May 17, 2016

The inside jacket blurb reprint above also included "stunning debut with lyric intensity and startling eroticism." There's no actual dialogue but indirect speech in long sentences and very long paragraphs with discursive descriptions. The author (is this a memoir?) never reveals his identity and refers to his same sex Portuguese lover as just "R". The only person we know by name is Mitko the young charismatic Bulgarian hustler of whom the author becomes infatuated. I found him to be potentially the most interesting character of the book but his background story is never explored.

PimaLib_LGBT Apr 14, 2016

For 2016 I made a commitment to read more fiction (I am a non-fiction sort-a-guy) and I was pleasantly surprised with Garth Greenwell’s first novel, “What Belongs to You.” His book offers a slice of the complexity of our lives and how we create relationships with others, often with people vastly different from our own circumstances, with consequences one has little control over. Mr. Greenwell is an accomplished poet and his prose reflects that. He gave life to his characters and the landscape they inhabit in a clear and truthful way. “What Belongs to You” is a refreshing work of Gay Male literature. I look forward to reading more from Garth Greenwell.
Rich D.

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cals_readers Mar 31, 2016

He stood there for a while as he drank, looking out over the street where I live, which seems never to have been given a name. None of the smaller streets in Mladost have names, though in the center the nation’s whole history, its victories and defeats, the many indignities and small prides of a small country, play out in the names of its avenues and squares. Here in Mladost, it’s the blokove, the huge towers, that anchor one in space, each with its own number individually marked on city maps.

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