BOOKS

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SWEET TOOTH 

(Lake Union Publishing, 2014)

 

Tim Anderson, author of Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries, returns with a much-anticipated memoir. Perfect for fans of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell, Sweet Tooth is an impishly witty tale of growing up a Southern, gay, type-1 diabetic who wants all the things he can't have.

 

What’s a sweets-loving young boy growing up gay in North Carolina in the eighties supposed to think when he’s diagnosed with type-1 diabetes? That God is punishing him, naturally. This was, after all, when Jesse Helms was his senator, AIDS was still the boogeyman, and no one was saying, “It gets better.” And if stealing a copy of an x-rated magazine from the newsagent was a sin, then surely what the guys inside were doing to one another was much worse.

 

Sweet Tooth is Tim Anderson’s uproarious memoir of life after his hormones and blood sugar both went berserk at the age of fifteen. With Morrissey and The Smiths as the soundtrack, Anderson self-deprecatingly recalls love affairs with vests and donuts, first crushes, coming out, and inaugural trips to gay bars.

 

What emerges is the story of a young man trying to build a future that won’t involve crippling loneliness or losing a foot to his disease—and maybe even one that, no matter how unpredictable, can still be pretty sweet.

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TUNE IN TOKYO: THE GAIJIN DIARIES 

(2010 Wayward Mammal Publishing; 2011 AmazonEncore)

 

Everyone wants to escape their boring, stagnant lives full of inertia and regret. But so few people actually have the bravery to run – run away from everything and selflessly seek out personal fulfillment on the other side of the world where they don’t understand anything and won’t be expected to. The world is full of cowards.

 

Tim Anderson was pushing thirty and working a string of dead-end jobs when he made the spontaneous decision to pack his bags and move to Japan. It was a gutsy move, especially for a tall, white, gay Southerner who didn’t speak a lick of Japanese. But his life desperately needed a shot of adrenaline, and what better way to get one than to leave behind his boyfriend, his cat, and his Siouxsie and the Banshees box set to move to “a tiny, overcrowded island heaving with clever, sensibly proportioned people who make him look fat”? In Tokyo, Tim became a “gaijin,” an outsider whose stumbling progression through Japanese culture is minutely chronicled in these sixteen hilarious stories.

 

Despite the steep learning curve and the seemingly constant humiliation, the gaijin from North Carolina gradually begins to find his way. Whether playing drums on the fly in an otherwise all-Japanese noise band or attempting to keep his English classroom clean when it’s invaded by an older female student with a dirty mind, Tim comes to realize that living a meaningful life is about expecting the unexpected...right when he least expects it.

YA historical fiction under the name T. Neill Anderson

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OCEAN OF FIRE: THE BURNING OF COLUMBIA, 1865
(Charlesbridge, 2014)

 

Based on the actual fire that swept through Columbia, South Carolina, after the city surrendered to General Sherman’s Union troops, Ocean of Fire details life in the South at the end of the American Civil War. Supported by thorough research, narrative accounts of actual historical persons as well as fictionalized characters comprise the novel. Follow 17-year-old Emma, her family, and potential Confederate spy, Charles Davis, as a chaotic community tries to survive a blazing firestorm. The second book in the Horrors of History series, Ocean of Fire makes history accessible, questioning who could have started this controversial fire and exploring how the closing weeks of the war affected citizens and slaves alike.

 

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CITY OF THE DEAD: GALVESTON HURRICANE, 1900

(Charlesbridge, 2013)

 

The year was 1900--a time before cars, evacuation routes, and up-to-the-minute weather reports. It was the day the deadliest storm in US history hammered Galveston, Texas. It was the day an entire island city was nearly wiped from existence.

 

At the onset of the hurricane, Albert Campbell and the other boys at the orphanage kicked and splashed in the emerging puddles. Daisy Thorne read letters from her fiancé, and Sam Young wondered if his telegram had reached the mainland, warning his family of the weather.

 

Just a few hours later, torrential rains and crushing tidal waves had flooded the metropolis. Winds upwards of one hundred miles per hour swept entire houses and trees down the streets. Debris slashed through the air; bodies whirled amid the rushing waters. Albert, Daisy, and Sam weren’t safe. No one was.

 

Based on an historic natural disaster, City of the Dead weaves together a shocking story where some miraculously survive . . . and many others are tragically lost. City of the Dead is the first book in the Horrors of History series. The series commemorates horrific, life-changing events in our nation's past. Each novel makes history accessible with a combination of thorough research, descriptions of a specific time period, narrative accounts of actual historical persons, and fictionalized characters.