In the Province of the Gods: Kenny Fries and Matthew Gallaway

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In the Province of the Gods: Kenny Fries and Matthew Gallaway
October 19, 2017 7:00 PM
October 19, 2017 8:30 PM
Suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
September 19, 2017
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @
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208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States


Kenny Fries, who was born missing bones in his legs, travelled to Japan to explore how the Japanese view people with disabilities. In Japan, he discovered (it’s almost a rumor) a god with a disability, although whether he’s Shinto or Buddhist is unclear. Fries returned to Japan a second time, but before arriving, he is diagnosed with HIV.

Fries’s HIV diagnosis shakes up all of his assumptions about Japan, the body, and mortality and he is propelled to a new understanding of how to live with the constant knowledge of impermanence and threat of loss.  In the end, not only was Japan the right place to discover a culture unlike his own, but Japan was also the perfect place to learn how to re-conceive and re-enter his life.

Author Matthew Gallaway joins Fries in conversation.


Copies of Kenny Fries’s In the Province of the Gods and In the Gardens of Japan are available for purchase at the Bureau. To reserve a copy please write to us at Please support the Bureau by buying books from us. Thank you!

This event is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Press.


Photo by Michael R. Dekker

Photo by Michael R. Dekker

Kenny Fries is the author of, most recently, In the Province of the Gods, as well as Body, Remember: A Memoir and The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory, winner of the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. He is the editor of Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out and author of the libretto for The Memory Stone, an opera commissioned by Houston Grand Opera.


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Matthew Gallaway 
is the author of #gods – described by Lambda Literary as “epic” and “riveting” – and The Metropolis Case, which was praised by the New York Times for being “driven by exuberance and morbidity, fatalism and erotic energy.” He lives in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City with his partner and four cats.