The Spectators : A Novel
Talk show host Matthew Miller has made his fame by shining a spotlight on the most unlikely and bizarre secrets of society, exposing them on live television in front of millions of gawking viewers. However, the man behind The Mattie M. Show remains a mystery--not only to his enormous audience, but to those who work alongside him every day. But when the high school students responsible for a mass shooting are found to be devoted fans, Mattie is thrust into the glare of public scrutiny, the wry, detached herald of a culture going downhill and going way too far. Soon, the secrets of Mattie's past as a brilliant young politician in a crime-ridden New York City begin to push their way to the surface. In her most daring and multidimensional novel yet, Jennifer duBois vividly portrays the gay community in New York City, spanning from the heyday of gay liberation in the 70s to the grips of the AIDS crisis in the 80s, alongside a backstage view of 90s television in an age of moral panic. DuBois explores an enigmatic man's downfall through the perspectives of two spectators--Cel, Mattie's skeptical publicist, and Semi, the disillusioned lover from his past. With wit, heart, and crackling intelligence, The Spectators examines the human capacity for reinvention--and forces us ask ourselves what we choose to look at, and why.