Local Luminary

East Falls author nominated for prestigious literary award (which he WON this June!)

Originally published April 5, 2022

CONGRATULATIONS to our East Falls neighbor Larry Benjamin, whose latest novel is a finalist in this year’s Lambda Literary Awards, a prestigious honor celebrating the very best in LGBTQ literature.

**6/11/22 UPDATE** HE DID IT! “Excellent Sons” brought home the 2022 Lammy for Gay Romance.  ❤🎉✨🎈🥇 PS we told you his book was awesome! 😁 Read on for our review…. 

Excellent Sons: A Love Story in Three Acts is a brilliant, bawdy, unbelievably entertaining story about two young men in love in the late 1990’s, a transitional time in America’s understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. The 90’s were also a brutal decade, as school shootings like Columbine proliferated violence and fear in kids and adults alike.

If this sounds like a dark read, hold on – because there’s also a TALKING DILDO! This living, breathing, walking, talking prosthetic penis grows a body and then runs away from its master to a steamy underworld bursting with lecherous characters and unbridled debauchery. Larry’s writing has always explored love and sexuality, but this story-within-a-story hits an entirely new level of graphic, explicit sexual depictions.

And it does so merrily! Joyfully, even. The whole time, he’s winking at the Pinocchio narrative and booping queer stereotypes on the nose. And then — in case you didn’t know Larry’s a skillful wordsmith — he somehow weaves this twisted fairy tale back into the sweet (but sad & violent) gay romance he started in the first part of the book, and pulls out a truly satisfying ending. What a ride!

To say Excellent Sons is a unique read would be an understatement, but it’s also full of universal truths and feelings. Could one book better affirm the value (and appeal) of LGBTQ literature in the Gay Romance genre? We think not. And now we’ll be crossing our fingers until June, that Lambda’s judges will agree with our assessment.

Congratulations to Larry for his big win! “At a time of increased anti-Asian hate and attempts to ban books about our queer bodies and sex, it feel especially significant and joyful that a book centering a pair of Asian-American teenagers growing up in post-Columbine America and featuring a talking dildo and a non-binary Magical won!” he said in a recent press release via Beaten Track publishing. 

Find Larry’s book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and lots of other platforms. Follow @WriterLarry on Twitter and his website authorlarrybenjamin.blogspot.com


Damaged Angels (2012) — a collection of short stories

Unbroken (2014) — a semi-autobiographical novel
Lambda Literary finalist
IPPY Gold Medalist
Rainbow Award Finalist (Gay contemporary fiction)

Vampire Rising (2015) – an allegorical novella
In His Eyes (2017) – a novel in 139 interwoven vignettes
Excellent Sons (2021) — a love story in three acts (Finalist, 2022 Lambda Awards)


LGBTQ literature is World literature! The Lambda Literary Awards validate the crucial contributions LGBTQ authors make in shaping our understanding as humans in this particular place and time. For over 30 years, the “Lammys” have uplifted vibrant, dynamic LGBTQ storytelling. More than 150 LGBTQ writers across 24 categories will be honored in 2022, with  several cash prizes for writers at all stages in their careers.

The 34th annual Lammy Awards will be an immersive virtual award ceremony hosted by drag queen and visual artist extraordinaire Sasha Velour. Admission includes a gift bag of digital perks and surprises, plus access to special readings & panels with finalists prior to the event.

Tix $50 via AirMeet, proceeds benefit Lambda Literary’s educational programs for LGBTQ young people and emerging writers.  Saturday, June 11 2PM (ceremony starts at 6PM) The event will be captioned and include live ASL interpretation.


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