' [T]his is no fiction. I have scars on my body and my soul to prove this.'
Never a shrinking violet, Hoshang Merchant came out of the closet early in his youth. A bard, a teacher, and a lover who has lived many lives, he is the quintessential gay who once cross-dressed, and yet defies categorization. In Secret Writings, he recounts his extraordinary life and splendid experiences ranging across countries and cultures. His is a story of the prejudice and neglect that are part of everyday gay life, and how he channelled his despair into creating poetry. He quotes Rumi,
Ghalib, and Mir, and writes with searing honesty about his long and short love affairs, his improbable sex life as both an initiator and a yielding partner, and his inner turmoil. Sex becomes love and love becomes poetry in his writing.
Merchant yells at the moral guardians of law and culture, asks uncomfortable questions, and shocks his readers. This rare book opens a window to the myriad worlds of an avant-garde.
LITERATURE: A DIFFERENT MUSE; AUTOBIOGRAPHY: THE GAY GAZE; SEXUALITY: OTHERING THE NATION; MATRIARCHY: MOTHERING THE NATION; POSTSCRIPT
Hoshang Merchant has many notable works to his credit. A well-known poet and teacher, he recently retired from the University of Hyderabad, India, after twenty-six years of teaching.
Akshaya K. Rath currently teaches English at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, India.