Krakow Melt by Daniel Allen Cox
first published in 2010, paperback
Lambda Literary Award Finalist Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction Finalist Shortlisted for a ReLit Award Shortlisted for an Independent Literary Award This second novel by Lambda Literary Award finalist Daniel Allen Cox (Shuck) is an incendiary story about two pyromaniacs who fight homophobia in Krakow, Poland, one of the fronts of the Solidarnosc revolution that eventually toppled the Berlin Wall in 1989. It's 2005, and Poland is grappling with its newfound role as a member of the European Union; the nation dips into moral crisis as Pope John Paul II (a Pole) hovers near death while the country's soon-to-be president makes homophobic declarations. Radek, a bisexual artist and a practitioner of the extreme urban sport parkour, is convinced that fire is the great stabilizer. While creating miniature replicas of the world’s great infernos―Chicago 1871, San Francisco 1906, London 1666―he meets Dorota, a literature student and budding pyromaniac. Driven by rage, sexual curiosity for one another, and Pink Floyd, they buck church, government, and the LGBT community to find sexual freedom, escaping their enemies by scaling the crumbling walls and ideas of the city. Provocative and unnerving, Krakow Melt is at once a love letter and a fiery call to arms.