The cover of Missed Connections, by Brian Francis, featuring an illustrated pen drawing out the title, a pile of letters and the silhouette of a man walking away.
Time for another book blurb: Brian Francis’ memoir Missed Connections, published by McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada—I got my copy from Glad Day Bookshop (Toronto). I also saw the SummerWorks 2018 production Box 4901.
Those who saw Brian Francis’ SummerWorks 2018 stage production Box 4901 will recognize the personal archive of unanswered male-seeks-male personal ad letters, and the cast of characters he draws from them, in his candid, humourous and sharply drawn memoir Missed Connections. Both self-deprecating and self-aware, the storytelling is nostalgic, introspective, and rife with the wisdom of age and experience—tying the past to the present with ruminations on body image, coming out, desire, relationships, and perceptions of masculinity and aging. Told from the perspective of a gay man navigating his own life and identity, from his small-town roots, to conservative city university experience, to big city life as a writer, Missed Connections is a funny, poignant and thoughtful testimonial to his 21-year-old self and the 13 men whose letters went unanswered.