New literary frontier: Gay Muslim cheetah explores being gay, Muslim, and cheetah in America

New literary frontier: Gay Muslim cheetah explores being gay, Muslim, and cheetah in America
(Image: Detail of Time He Desires cover, FurPlanet.com via Slate)

[Ed. – Self-explanatory, I think.  If you don’t know the term “furry,” well, you’re probably not alone.]

Kyell Gold’s new novel may lie at the most unlikely intersection in literary history: a gay immigrant Muslim romance involving furries—that is, people who feel a close identification with anthropomorphic animal characters.

“I wrote this book in part as a response to the wave of Islamophobia in this country,” Gold explained in an author’s note, “never dreaming at the time that it would crest as it has now.”

The Time He Desires is the story of Aziz, a cheetah in a faltering heterosexual marriage who explores the boundaries of his sexuality with the help of a gay fox. Aziz is a Sudanese immigrant, and he engages in a struggle with his desires that will be familiar to queer readers. Gold’s been writing furry romance novels full-time for several years, after bouncing from chemical engineering to business school to zoology. After he was laid off in 2010 with a generous severance package, his husband said, “if you’re going to be a full-time writer, this is the time to start.”

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