The Next Chapter

Why David Kingston Yeh's debut novel, A Boy at the Edge of the World, explores 'sex, love and intimacy'

Why the Toronto author used his own personal experience moving from a small town to the big city to honestly depict LGBTQ sexuality.
David Kingston Yeh is an author and playwright. (Guernica Editions)

David Kingston Yeh's A Boy at the Edge of the World, is the Toronto-based short story writer and LGBTQ counsellor's debut novel.

Partly based on his own experience, the book follows Daniel Garneau, a young gay hockey player who leaves his small hometown for university in Toronto and becomes caught up in a love triangle between the ex-boyfriend he left behind and a new romantic interest.

The author tells The Next Chapter more about the book.

Big city, small world

"I moved to Toronto, many years ago, as a young adult to attend school. As a gay man myself, it was in Toronto where I really began to discover myself and form a community. I love Toronto. I love the diversity of its communities. It takes some time to get to know as it's a complex city. Its richness rests in the details and I wanted the book to reflect that fact."

Coming of age

"It's a contemporary novel set in downtown Toronto. Very simply, it's about sex, love and intimacy. It's told through the eyes of a young gay man named Daniel Garneau. When we meet him, he's 18 years old and he comes from Sudbury to Toronto to go to school. The reader follows Daniel over the next five years of his life as he navigates the challenges and pitfalls of dating and relationships." 

Layered meaning

"The book title, A Boy at the Edge of the World, has three meanings. The first is, he's Canadian. The title refers to not just where Canada is located on this planet, but also culturally — we're close yet a bit detached from both European and American culture. Secondly, he's a gay man, so the title also refers to a young gay man who's at the edge of a heteronormative society.  And thirdly, he's 18 years old when we meet him... he's a man at the edge of adulthood." 

David Kingston Yeh's comments have been edited for length and clarity.