By William Stevenson
December 17, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Comfort & Joy

B
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Covering Southern terrain from a gay-male perspective, as he did in Winter Birds and Dream Boy, novelist-playwright Grimsley focuses on an Atlanta couple heading home for Christmas. Dan, a hospital administrator, has backwoods roots; Ford, a doctor, comes from a patrician Savannah family that’s pressuring him to get married—to a woman, that is.

Grimsley writes lyrically, and the multiple-flashback structure allows him to gradually bring tensions to a boil. Too bad his dialogue is almost as stiff as Ford’s homophobic father. Still, anyone who’s ever brought a significant other home to meet the folks should relate to this affecting story. B — William Stevenson

Comfort & Joy

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