Please join The Center for the kick off of the 2023 – 2024 season of The Center’s long running Second Tuesday lecture series. This month features a conversation with Ed Cahill in conversation with Charles Kaiser at the Bureau.
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Copies of Disorderly Men (Fordham University Press, 2023, hardcover, $28.95) are available for purchase at the Bureau and can be purchased at the event.
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ABOUT DISORDERLY MEN
Roger Moorhouse is a Wall Street banker and Westchester family man with a preciously guarded secret. As the shouting begins and flashlights blaze in his face, the life he’s carefully curated over the years—a fancy new office overlooking lower Broadway, a house in Beechmont Woods, his wife and children—is about to come crashing down around him.
Columbia literature professor Julian Prince lives a comparatively uncloseted life when he finds his first committed relationship tested to its limits. How could he explain to Gus, a fearless young artist, that he couldn’t stay with him that weekend because the woman who was still technically Julian’s fiancée would be visiting? But when Gus is struck unconscious by a police baton, Julian comes out of hiding to protect him, even if exposure means losing everything.
For Danny Duffy, an Irish kid from the Bronx with a sassy mouth and diverse group of friends, the raid is a galvanizing, Spartacus moment. Danny doesn’t have too much left to lose; his family has just disowned him. But once his name appears in the newspaper, he’ll be fired from his job at Sloan’s Supermarket, where he’s risen to assistant manager of produce, and begin a journey that veers between political enlightenment and violent revenge.
The three men find themselves in a police wagon together, their hidden lives threatened to be revealed to the world. Blackmail, a private investigator, Gus’s disappearance, and Danny’s quest for retribution propel Disorderly Men to its piercing conclusion, as each man meets the boundaries of his own fear, love, and shame. The stakes for each are different, but all of them confront a fundamental question: how much happiness is he allowed to have … and what share of it will he lay claim to?
Edward Cahill is a Professor of English at Fordham University, where he’s taught since 2005. He earned a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, specializing in the literature of British America and the early US republic. He has published numerous articles in such journals as American Literature, Early American Literature, Early American Studies, and ELH. His monograph, Liberty of the Imagination: Aesthetic Theory, Literary Form, and Politics in the Early United States, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012. More recently, Cahill has been teaching modern and contemporary fiction and writing novels. Some of his favorite authors to teach are Jane Austen, Henry James, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alan Hollinghurst, Jennifer Egan, Ben Lerner, Tommy Orange, Ocean Vuong, Patricia Lockwood, and Rachel Kushner. His debut novel, Disorderly Men, will be published by Empire State Editions for Fordham University Press in September 2023. It will be the press’s first original literary fiction release. Cahill lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Charles Kaiser is the author of three books including the New York Times Notable Book of the Year and Lamba Literary Award-winner The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. He has been a reporter for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and a press critic at Newsweek. He has also written for Vanity Fair, New York, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. He was a founder and former president of the New York chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, and has taught journalism at Columbia and Princeton. He lives in New York City.