“A Brotherhood of Strangers: A Fictional Memoir” by Sunshine— Going to College

Sunfire. “A Brotherhood of Strangers: A Fictional Memoir”, City Man Press, 2021.

Going to College

Amos Lassen

In 1954 Marshal Swift enrolled in a small college in southwestern Ohio where he pledges his brother’s fraternity. The fraternity was founded by two men who knew they were outcasts in society and so they decided to build a brotherhood that of gay, bi- and straight men. Swift then sixty years later wrote his memoir based upon his college experiences sharing how the men came together and formed friendships and more. Six decades later Marshal writes this memoir. We are taken back to his freshman year as a pledge, the following summer as a houseboy on Fire Island, his sophomore year, when the men their brotherhood to include black men. He is open with his descriptions  of his own relationships and interactions with his fraternity brothers and explicitly writes about them. We read of his joys and his fears, as he learns to live in a world where most gay men felt they would have to stay in the closet for their entire lives. It was a different time back then and we really did to remember how it was so that we can better appreciate how things are today. We are taken on quite a ride that is fascinating and filled with memories for some of us.

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