Rose, Rex 1962-
ROSE, Rex 1962-
PERSONAL: Born 1962, in New Orleans, LA. Education: Tulane University, B.A., 1996; Louisiana State University, M.A., 2000.
ADDRESSES: Home—Austin, TX. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Creative Arts Book Company, 833 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94710. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Novelist, journalist, graphic artist, and poet. Louisiana Public Broadcasting, formerly worked as assistant producer. Go Gulf (magazine), former layout artist and contributing editor; Tribe (magazine), New Orleans, LA, former staff writer and columnist.
Toast, Creative Arts Book Company (Berkeley, CA), 2002.
Contributing editor, Exquisite Corpse; contributor to periodicals, including Tulane Literary Magazine, Milk, and Arts Quarterly.
SIDELIGHTS: Novelist, journalist, and poet Rex Rose worked at a series of odd jobs before landing in his current profession. After dropping out of the third grade, he worked as an electric guitarist for Indy rock groups, shucked oysters at a bar, and even worked in a Bourbon Street sex toy shop before returning to school and eventually earning an master's degree in creative writing from Louisiana State University. Rose's first novel, Toast, was written, ironically, for people who don't read. "I realized there was a huge untapped market in people who don't read," the novelist commented in an interview with Amazon.com. "I don't read much myself," Rose admitted, "preferring instead to watch television or movies, and this experience made me the perfect novelist to open up the non-reading market."
In Toast Rose tells the story of a young woman named Tania who struggles to find her rightful place in a chaotic world. After her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes off with their motorcycles, Tania decides it's time to get away. She sets out from San Francisco, hoping to reach her father at her childhood home in New Orleans, but when she arrives he turns her away. Distraught and needing comfort, she turns to a childhood friend, Snake, a tattoo artist who has been diagnosed with AIDS and is dying. As his last wish Snake asks Tania to help him die at home in the midst of a wild party, where he hopes to be cremated. Meanwhile, Tania's friend Marcus has been lusting after her while trying to respect her mixed emotions.
"Rose delves fearlessly into his complex and seemingly self-contradictory characters," stated Bonnie Johnston in her Booklist review of Toast. J. D. Smith commented in the American Book Review that Rose is a "ringmaster" in the confusing world readers of Toast enter, "and there is great pleasure in watching him work. If surface is all these characters know, or all they think there is to know, Rose manages to delineate them with a level of detail that shows compassion as well as wit."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Book Review, March-April, 2003, J. D. Smith, review of Toast.
Booklist, February 1, 2002, Bonnie Johnston, review of Toast, p. 924.
New Delta Review, fall-winter, 2001, review of Toast.
Amazon.com,http://www.amazon.com/ (April 18, 2004), interview with Rose.
Rex Rose Web site,http://rexrose.com/writer/ (May 19, 2004).*