Official Website of author
Meet Daniel Garneau, your average gay hockey player from small-town Ontario. After moving to Toronto to attend university, Daniel meets David, a bike mechanic whose Catholic Italian mother talks to her dead husbands. Their chemistry is immediate, but Daniel is still drawn to his ex-boyfriend Marcus, a performance artist whose grandfather was a book-burning Nazi.
Through a series of misadventures both comic and tragic, Daniel navigates the pitfalls of dating and relationships, while juggling the needs of his eccentric family and newfound friends. A Boy at the Edge of the World is a rollicking dramedy that explores the compulsive and (ultimately) universal human pursuit of intimacy, sex, and love.
A Boy at the Edge of the World is an episodic novel about a young gay man’s exploration of sex, intimacy and love. It’s inspired in part by my own experiences moving to Toronto, and my work as an LGBTQ2S counselor. While the book’s overall tone is light, the issues it touches upon are not. Guernica Editions describes it as "a gay Sex and the City, meets Girls meets Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y."
I introduce the protagonist Daniel Garneau when he’s eighteen, and we follow his misadventures in dating and relationships over the next five years. It was important for me not to be circumspect or coy in depicting gay sexuality. But I wanted to offer the same privileged realism (and validation) that heteronormative sexuality enjoys in media and culture. As the same time, by keeping to a minimalist, documentary language, I hoped to actively engage readers in creating the story, one enlivened by their own personal, subjective meaning.
I also observed how people share their lives through Facebook and Instagram feeds. What if I were to translate this form of story-telling into narrative prose? So the book is recounted in the first person, and begins with Daniel’s statement: “I could remember that moment as easily as turning a page in a photo album.” By the time I was done, I’d written a confabulated fictional memoir of sorts lol. Of course, the autobiographical works of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs were also influences.
What does it mean to be a queer millennial in Canada? The book’s title refers to these three intersecting locations. Daniel Garneau’s generation is post-gay liberation, and post-HIV/AIDS crisis; during the course of the book’s events, Canada becomes the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. How does any young person navigate this new zeitgeist? Thrown into a tumultuous, changing world, how do any of us find authentic connection and meaning? In the end, my hope is that this book begins to reflect at least some of the diversity and fluidity of sexuality, relationships and identities flowering through modernity’s cracks in the 21st century.
Excerpt from Open Book Interview
"Writers to watch"! ~ CBC Books
David Kingston Yeh holds his MA in cultural sociology from Queen’s University, is an alumnus of George Brown Theatre School, and attended Advanced Post Graduate Studies in Expressive Arts at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland. He currently works as a counsellor and educator with LGBTQ+ youth in downtown Toronto. David resides in Toronto’s east-end neighbourhood of Leslieville, up the street from a circus academy, along with his husband and a family of racoons. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines. A Boy at the Edge of the World is his first novel. His second novel Tales from the Bottom of My Sole
will be published in Fall 2020.
Book design: David Moratto
"A Boy at the Edge of the World... is a gay Sex and the City meets Girls meets Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y. It is a delightful and comedic romp as small-town Daniel navigates the big city and his own deliciously tangled relationships."