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More than “by Dorien Grey” this epistolary is by Roger Margason. Sure Dorien and Roger are the same person, but at the same time, they are not. The Roger of these letters, back in 1954, is only the embryo of Dorien, like he says “when these letters begin, I had already known I was gay for about fifteen years. Though my parents had always known, it was a secret we kept from one another. So, if while reading you spot some passages you might conceive as having some gay undertones, chances are you are right.” Aside for these gay undertones, A World Ago: A Navy Man’s Letters Home is not about a gay man, it’s about a boy far from home, learning his ways in the world, shaping the man who he will be.

At the beginning, Roger is very much a boy, and through the letter you can see him grow into a man. When he joins the Navy, the main reason, more the one he presents to his parents (paying for his college), I think was that he wanted to fly, for real but also figuratively speaking. I can recognize in that boy, the man who Dorien Grey is now, enjoying travelling and discovering new places; back then, the Navy was probably the only option allowing you to do so. Maybe Roger didn’t really consider it all, and in those first letters, even if he is bold, I can read that, only maybe, he was regretting that decision a little. But more letters come and more time passes, and towards the end, Roger has made acquaintance with it, and find a way to go through, finally and luckily finding what he was searching. Sure, he wasn’t flying, and maybe his job was boring, but he was, eventually, seeing the world, that world that now, is a world ago.

Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing (April 8, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: A World Ago: A Navy Man's Letters Home (1954-1956)

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