“If you don’t push against the mirror, how do you know you’re standing in front of it?” asks author Martin Pousson. His PEN award-winning novel Black Sheep Boy, also an L.A. TimesPick of the Week, inspired Susan Larson (NPR The Reading Life) to say: “An unforgettable novel-in-stories about growing up gay in French Acadiana, so vivid and almost fairy tale-like, drawing on folklore from the region, and yet so brutally realistic. Brilliant. I loved this book.” I loved it too, for Pousson’s poetic prose, among other reasons. I’ve been able to ask Martin Pousson a few questions about the novel. His answers reflect his literary acuity.
The Rushes looks into the world of film making. Its two protagonists struggle to put career ahead of romance, but the penis has a way of rising. Best friends since childhood, they get college degrees in film making and begin Hollywood careers. Their long-range goal is to make their own films together, after they get the credentials necessary from working for others, the others tending toward the tyrannical. Everyone works long hours. Sex and romance get squeezed in.
As I read, I wondered how the author knew so much about the film industry. I learned he wrote and directed The Green Plaid Shirt, a 1996 romance/drama about life during the initial onslaught of AIDS.
Question: Carson’s big break into Hollywood comes when he’s hired by Zach, a producer who later berates him with a gay slur.