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Steven Rowley's 'The Guncle' Heals Grief With Humor

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Courtesy of G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS
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"The Guncle" is author Steven Rowley's latest novel, published May 25, 2021

What’s the role of a guncle - a gay uncle? Best-selling author Steven Rowley serves up lots of laughs as a guncle and his young niece and nephew deal with deep grief, past and current.

Steven Rowley reads - dramatically- from his latest novel, The Guncle, and talks about its genesis on today's (5 pm Friday) Out in the Bay. It's a heart-warming and humorous work of fiction about a once-famous sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.

Gay Uncle Patrick, or GUP, as his family calls him, helps his young relatives work through their grief with lots of love and non-stop wit. And for himself – although he offers them to the kids too! -- plenty of mimosas. Amidst the summer pool parties, bike rides and sleep-overs though, Patrick finds himself surprised to gain insights into his own grief and life, too.

The Guncle has been named one of O, The Oprah Magazine‘s “32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021” and is topping summer reading lists including Travel & Leisure‘s “Most Anticipated Books of the Summer.” Find author Rowley's virtual book tour readings and other events on his website.

Steven Rowley is also the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus, which was named a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016 and is currently being developed into a feature film, and of The Editor, named by NPR and Esquire as one of the Best Books of 2019 and also in movie development. Rowley has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist and screenwriter. He lives in Palm Springs with his husband, author, screenwriter and playwright Byron Lane.

Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.