I Am Not Myself These Days


Author: Kilmer-Purcell, Josh

Title: I Am Not Myself These Days

Genre: GLBTQ

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 305

Geographical Setting: New York

Time Period: 1990’s

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:

The best way to describe this book is by saying it is a very nontraditional love story. The author of this memoir tells of his life in New York City as a young art director in the advertising industry by day and drag queen superstar, Aqua by night. The author Josh has what can only be described as a pretty serious drinking habit, pounding vodkas at night, and starting to sober up at some point in the middle of the next day, only to begin the cycle again that night. After a sixth straight win as New York’s best new drag queen one night, Josh meets a handsome guy at the bar named Jack.  The next day, as he struggles to remember the night before, he recalls waking up in Jack’s apartment. Jack contacts him to meet again, and the romance ensues from there.  Josh quickly discovers that Jack’s beautiful penthouse suite is paid for by his job as a male escort. It is not long until Josh moves into the penthouse and begins his life with Jack.  When Jack starts becoming addicted to crack and Josh is drinking more than ever, their lives being to spiral out of control.  This memoir is full of tragic, touching, heartwarming, and heart wrenching moments. The writing is engaging and extremely humorous throughout the book.

Subject Headings: Kilmer-Purcell, Josh, 1969-, Transvestites — New York City — Biography

Appeals: funny, tragic, sexually explicit, fast-paced, engaging, shocking, flawed characters, bittersweet, violent, romantic, insightful, candid

3 Appeals to best describe book: funny, bittersweet, shocking

3 Fiction read-alikes:

I’ve Got A Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Tales from Gay Manhattan by Ethan Mordden. This upbeat novel tells interweaving stories of the lives of a small group of gay Manhattanites, including love stories.

Now is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer. This humorous coming of age story follows Rigby John Klusener as he hitchhikes from Idaho to San Francisco to escape his small minded town. Rigby finds true love in an older man George, and experiences several other adventures along the way.

Mount Appetite by Bill Gaston. This is a witty book of short stories about addiction and the power of it. It focuses on everything from romance to drugs and alcohol. Josh and Jack both deal with addiction in I am Not Myself These Days.

3 Non-fiction read-alikes:

Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs. Both of these stories tell sometimes sad, serious stories in a quirky, darkly humorous way.  They are both stories about the author’s lives, and deal with issues of addiction, the advertising industry, and being a gay man in NYC.  The authors are very candid, witty, and humorous.

Hiding My Candy: The Autobiography of the Grand Empress of Savannah by Lady Chablis. Savannah’s most famous drag queen tells her life story in this humorous and at times heart-wrenching book.  Like Kilmer-Purcell, Lady Chablis goes behind the scenes in the life of a drag queen, and tells the story with heart and wit.

Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography by Sebastian Horsley. This autobiography tells of the author’s life from an early age with a dysfunctional family. Later in his life he struggles with a heroin addiction, and has a short career as a male escort, much like Jack.


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