Joel Lafayette Fletcher III, "With Hawks and Angels: Episodes from a Southern Life" (UP of Mississippi, 2023)


In this episode of Queer Voices I talk to Joel Lafayette Fletcher III about his book With Hawks and Angels: Episodes from a Southern Life (UP of Mississippi, 2023)

About the Author:

Joel Lafayette Fletcher, III served as an officer in the US Navy and lived abroad for a dozen years. He co-owned a language school in Florence, Italy, and worked in the field of educational exchange in Paris and London. For the past 40-plus years he has been an art dealer specializing in American and European art of the 20th Century.

About the Book:

With Hawks and Angels: Episodes from a Southern Life chronicles the fortunate life of a man born in the Cajun country of Louisiana and his interaction with the three distinct parts of his home state: the swampy, laissez-faire South where he was born, the red clay hills and piney woods of northern Louisiana where his relatives lived, and exotic New Orleans, where he was educated.

Author Joel Lafayette Fletcher III examines his childhood on the campus of what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where his father, Joel Lafayette Fletcher Jr., was president for twenty-five years, to his time as a student at Tulane. The book follows Fletcher through his service as a naval officer—when he began to admit to himself, accept, and explore who he really was—to his life in Europe and, eventually, Virginia where he now resides. With Hawks and Angels intimately explores the life of a young man growing up in the racially segregated Deep South while coming to terms with being gay at a time when being out was not socially acceptable.

Based on his personal journals and recollections and filled with the unique characters he met along the way, With Hawks and Angels is the culmination of writing that, for Fletcher, was a way of holding onto an important part of his true self that for many years he felt compelled to hide.

About the Host:

Morris Ardoin is the author of Stone Motel – Memoirs of a Cajun Boy (2020, University Press of Mississippi; paperback coming October 2023), which has been optioned for TV/film development. He also writes about medicine and health care, immigration and asylum, and higher education. He lives in Upstate New York. His blog, “Parenthetically Speaking,” which focuses on life as a writer, cook, and a bayou boy living in New York, can be found at Instagram: morrisardoin.

Your Host

Morris Ardoin

Morris Ardoin is author of STONE MOTEL: MEMOIRS OF A CAJUN BOY (University Press of Mississippi, 2020)

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