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Poignant and Poetic #BookReview Ripe: Letters by Alan Semrow #Memoir #LGBTQ


This book reminded me so much of my teenage years when writing love letters to your crushes was still a thing. Each chapter is a letter addressed to the persons the author had relationships with, some very brief and some others even from a distance.

While some of these letters weren't exactly love letters, they were written from a place of love, highlighting how those encounters no matter how brief impacted the author positively.

From Dear 'Birthday Guy' to 'Daddy', 'Blondie' to 'Athlete', each letter is meaningful and poignant, sometimes humorous, sometimes poetic and always comes across as genuine.
The reflections are so relate-able, they made me think of my past relationships and how I would address them if I wrote letters to them.

This is quite an easy read and I didn't want to put it down once i started reading. Definitely worth reading for anyone who enjoys memoirs and LGBT literature.

Reviewed by

Disclaimer: I volunteered to review this book.

Author: Alan Semrow
Title: Ripe: Letters
Genre: Memoir/LGBT

Funny, sexy, evocative, and brutally honest, Ripe is Alan Semrow’s ode to relationships with men. In this epistolary book, Semrow writes to the men who have impacted his outlook, reminded him of basic life lessons, surprised him in more ways than one, and left him reeling for days. Writing to one-night-flings, men he has never met, and men he’ll never stop running into, Semrow touches on some of the most constant human themes—love, lust, desire, and the yearning for connection. All the while, the book details a man’s journey navigating and blooming by way of the modern gay scene. Readers will find familiarity and hard truths in Semrow’s statements about the intricacy and explosiveness of the intimate moments we share.

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About the Author

Alan Semrow's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been featured in over 30 publications. Apart from writing fiction and nonfiction, he is a professional copywriter, a monthly contributor at Chosen Magazine, and a singer-songwriter. Previously, he was the Fiction Editor for Black Heart Magazine and a Guest Fiction Editor for the Summer Issue of Five Quarterly. Semrow's debut short story collection, Briefs, was published in 2016. Ripe is his second book. Semrow lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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