Buy Monkey Suits

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More about Monkey Suits
Author Appearances
& Favorite Bookstores

BookMarks review posted on GMax (South African site).

Author David Ehrenstein's grillsThe Reagans (and plugs Monkey Suits).

New York on the top caterers

Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Year of the Monkey

PINS in German
Sports Complex

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The Internet Book List
Bios on lots of authors
Amazing Ideas

Reversing Vandalism

Larry Kramer interview

Ben Thornberry
ACT UP photographer


Ronald Reagan
Dead, you know

Reagan: Still Dead

ACT UP and Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan:

Jim Provenzano



Paperback 236 pages
ISBN: 0-595-28256-3
Published: Aug-2003

Welcome to the servile class.

Praise for Monkey Suits:

"Jim Provenzano's brilliant new novel Monkey Suits captures perfectly the Reagan Age as it examines the lives of gay cater-waiters working the Metropolitan Museum's swank parties, while getting politicized by ACT-UP." - Author David Ehrenstein

Read David's review for The Bay Area Reporter


"A thoroughly entertaining and well written story filled with well defined characters, clever plot twists and subtle humor. It's loaded with all the standards of a good story with the right type of characters and on-target situations, using light-handed irony and a sharp eye for dark humor around the edges.

"He makes his points cleanly in the context of the story itself, with a wit that equals Maupin at his best, using the figure of the Cater Waiter as his Everyman." - Author Keith Morrisette (Read the entire review)


"From the secret lives of married gay men to the secret lives of cater waiters, it seems like everyone has something to hide. That's especially true in Jim Provenzano's exciting second novel, Monkey Suits.

A nostalgic mix of sex and melodrama, Provenzano crafts a late-80s AIDS story with paint-by-numbers plotting. Still, it's to Provenzano's credit that "Monkey Suits" is such a fun read, jammed with in-jokes, intrigue and involving characters. It's those details and finishing touches that make the book a sultry page turner. - Torso Magazine


"Lives there a gay man in his early 20s with good looks, black trousers, and a white shirt who hasn't waited a table while awaiting his big acting break? Well, some; but not the sexy lads of Monkey Suits, a nostalgic Manhattan-set novel about unfocused youth, mercurial boyfriends, and the early days of ACT UP activism and anger. The characters are all cater waiters - thus, the "monkey suits." Their underclass perspective on the upper class they serve at society functions is part sneering and part servile, a nervy imbalance that gives this novel a subversive, comic clout.

If Provenzano wasn't himself a waiter, he must have slept with some - his behind-the-scenes details are a hoot. The novel's realistic energy is further heightened by the author's invocation of thinly veiled facts." - Richard LaBonte, BOOKMARKS


Excess and Activism
"Isn't it interesting how cater-waiters are almost exclusively gay? But I digress. The characters in the novel Monkey Suits are servants whose social status makes them acutely aware of the line of demarcation that has been drawn between the upper class and everyone else. Evolving simultaneously with this theme is an investigation of high society and downtown AIDS activism." - NEXT Magazine

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"Jim Provenzano captures an era in gay history with humor and poignancy.
He has become one of our strongest voices." - poet Alex Gildzen

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Thanks to Tommi and James for hosting Dump Columbus Day with other Italian-American writers, Oct. 13, in SF.

Thanks to Magnet SF and A Different Light Bookstore for sponsoring my Oct. 8 reading.

Thanks to, Frontiers, SF Station, LarryBob, Castro Online, SF Gate and the BAR's OutThere for promoting it.