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Got 'til it's Gone

Got 'til it's Gone

By Larry Duplechan
Categories: BIPOC, Black Literature, Fiction, LGBTQ+, Gay Literature
Paperback : 9781551522449, 208 pages, 2008
Read Excerpt (PDF)


Winner of a Lambda Literary Award (gay romance)

As funny, warm, and sexy as its protagonist, Got 'til it's Gone is the first novel by Larry Duplechan in fifteen years, and the fourth to feature his alter-ego Johnnie Ray Rousseau, a gay black man of Louisiana Creole stock. When we first met Johnnie Ray in the 1986 novel Blackbird--the first gay black coming-out novel ever published--he was a gay teenager in love with the star of a high school play; now he's forty-eight, still handsome and gym-built but admittedly vain and looking down the short road to fifty with some chagrin. In the midst of a midlife crisis, he falls for a much younger man with some serious Daddy issues; throughout it all, Johnnie Ray tries to look at love (and his life) from both sides now (to borrow a phrase from his idol, Joni Mitchell). Got 'til it's Gone is a queer romantic comedy for the twenty-first century.

Now in its second printing!


  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award 2009


Larry Duplechan kicked up a storm in 1986 with the publication of Blackbird, a black gay coming-out romance novel in which his alter ego Rousseau was the lead character too. Now he's written yet another humorous and lighthearted tragicomedy.

- Winq

Duplechan is a master of style. Rare indeed are novels with such unstilted, conversationally real dialogue, and authentic patois as this one. It's almost as if Duplechan spoke his story into a tape recorder before he put it to paper, so natural is the cadence of his prose.
-Gay and Lesbian Review

- Gay and Lesbian Review

Acclaimed novelist Larry Duplechan makes one of the boldest comebacks of the year.
-Bay Area Reporter

- Bay Area Reporter

Sure to please new readers and old fans alike, the brisk, serio-comic style of Got 'Til It's Gone makes it clear that both Johnnie Ray and Larry Duplechan have 'still got it' after all these years. Betraying no sense of a slump, or feeling of forced writing, it seems they'd never left. One hopes there we will not have to wait another 15 years to read of his next romantic adventure: Johnnie Ray - When you comin' back?
-Lambda Book Report

- Lambda Book Report

Duplechan balances steamy sex scenes with family tragedy, relationship drama and a protagonist whose self-effacing inner thoughts are laugh-out-loud funny. Complete with natural dialogue, warm relationships and impeccable comic timing, Got 'til It's Gone is the work of a genuinely gifted storyteller.
-Xtra! West

- Xtra! West

Johnny Ray Rousseau first made an appearance in the 1986 novel Blackbird, back when the protagonist was just a teen fighting with his burgeoning sexuality. He's come a long way, and Duplechan has updated his alter-ego's story with contemporary flourishes and hip dialogue.
-Bay Area Reporter

- Bay Area Reporter

With his gift for language, eye for detail and consistent tone of voice, Larry Duplechan has the makings to be a major literary figure.


[Johnnie Ray] Rousseau's wise, witty, pop-culture-laden voice is intact. ... The sceneswith his mother are as comic and tragic as hisdeciding whether or not to have a relationship witha man 17 years his junior.
-Out Front Colorado

- Out Front Colorado

Got 'til It's Gone deals with the eternal concerns of friends, family, and love, and reading the book is like catching up with an old pal who has survived, grown, and can still make you laugh. ... It is warm and engaging, and definitely a good read. Recommended.
-GLBT Roundtable Newsletter (American Library Association)

- GLBT Roundtable Newsletter

Before there were 'b-boys' or the down-low there was Johnnie Ray Rousseau--black, gay, proud and hot as a sidewalk in July! Well, he's back and steamy as ever, despite the Baby Boomer shadows lurking in the corners. This adventure is laugh-out-loud funny at the same time it's opening up your heart. Larry Duplechan is a story teller you'll want to curl up with.
-Jewelle Gomez, author of The Gilda Stories

- Jewelle Gomez

Got til it's Gone is the kind of novel that will make you wish Johnnie Ray Rousseau was a flesh-and-blood person so you could find him and spend an evening in his company, such is author Larry Duplechan's deftness with fiction. It's the kind of novel that will have you calling your friends so you can read bits of it over the phone. It's the kind of novel that will make you laugh at the top of the page and blink tears away at the bottom. From the hint of a tease cover to the why-didn't-I-see-that ending, this book is a wonderful mix of character and unforced, conversationally-real dialogue, and I loved every page of it.

- QNotes

Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a sequel - but patience is rewarded with publication of this novel, a fine blend of sexy plotting and intelligent writing. ... Duplechan fleshes out his warm story with prose that alternates laugh-out-loud scenes with moments of profound introspection.
-Book Marks (Q Syndicate)

- Book Marks

Larry Duplechan is one of our community's most gifted writers.
-AfterElton. com


Got 'til It's Gone is a novel which positively bristles with wit and intelligence. Yet underneat the glittering surface is a solid core of heart and compassion. ... Larry Duplechan is an author who writes with keen understanding of the effect of middle age for gay men and his observations about the joys and absurdities of queer life ring with truth.

- Wayves