Coming Back to America

American author Vestal McIntyre found a husband and a home in the U.K., but his first novel, Lake Overturn, brings him back to the Idaho countryside of his childhood.



Vestal McIntyre |

It’s also the book that led him to his husband. When the collection of stories was published in England in 2006, McIntyre flew over to promote it. One evening at a nightclub he bumped into a man named Tristan, leading to what McIntyre fondly recalls as “a tawdry introduction.” Last year, after Florent closed, he and Le Masson Bangard were married in Palm Springs, Calif. A summer-long celebration ensued, then the couple moved to Le Masson Bangard’s London home.

“I live here because federal law won’t allow my husband to live in the U.S.,” McIntyre says with a little bite. “In England we are treated like regular spouses, which is what we are. The way the U.K. sees it, this is a civil partnership. It is very civilized, and it just makes sense.”

As for the glamour of their relationship -- those names alone -- McIntyre says, “It does sound pretty good. But in reality we’re sitting there watching Battlestar Galactica in our underwear.”

His life in England sounds pretty ideal too. “When I lived in New York, I’d have to go away to write, but here it’s a lot quieter -- I live in a house with my husband instead of in a 300-square-foot apartment on the Lower East Side. I have a writing room that overlooks a garden and a 15th-century chapel right across the street.” He smiles at the improbability of it all.

Even his job at the chain bookshop has its perks. His collection of short stories is available at the counter, and he enjoys his colleagues’ company. “I work with these 18-year-olds, and they got me to read Twilight,” he says, laughing. “I only enjoyed it to the point that I could talk with them about it like a high school girl would.”

And is he ready for some degree of attention, or even literary fame? “I’m totally ready!” he declares. “I still don’t quite believe that the book’s finally getting out there. But I would be completely thrilled if it was a success, but I’m not crazy about working these day jobs.”

Tags: Books