Acclaim for Chris Andoe’s HOUSE OF VILLADIVA
“Chris Andoe and I both hit St. Louis in 1997, and our trajectories, though quite different, have intersected now and again. Reading “House of Villadiva,” I’m reminded of all we share in common — a love for this place so deep that we can’t help wanting it to be better, an abiding fascination with the ambition, history, activism, scandal, sex, ghosts, and murder that the best conversations inevitably unearth…and the complete conviction that nobody but us knows how to drive. These stories, in their chronicling of the profound and the profane details of the city’s queer community, roar out of the gate and never let up in their intensity, although they’re not all rollicking tell-alls; many of the book’s most affecting moments present themselves in quiet scenes and observations. ‘This city saves your spot at the table,’ Andoe notes…and you’ll be delighted he’s saved a spot at the house table for you, too.” – Amanda E. Doyle, 100 Things to Do in St. Louis Before You Die
“The ‘dastardly’ Chris Andoe who St. Louis’s gay community loves to hate and hates to love has tendered a collection of quirky and rich tales that surpass commercial fiction and rests firmly in the realm of literature. With House of Villadiva, Andoe is officially one of St. Louis’s great storytellers, and that says something.” —Crystal Hubbard, award-winning author of Catching The Moon
“At Villadiva, the walls don’t just talk, they draw us into the lives of the author’s chosen family, friends and foes. Along the way we meet an evil stepmother, a 92 year-old drag queen, a witch-in-residence, and too many other colorful characters to mention. Through Andoe’s masterful and intimate storytelling, we become temporary inhabitants of his world – a world which is at once real, fabulous, and stranger than fiction.” —Geoff Story, A Gay Home Movie
“This book is a crack pipe!” —Patrick Collins, Out in STL
“Chris Andoe writes like he talks, which is a very good thing, because he’s one of our city’s best talkers. And the object of his fascination—whether he’s three martinis into a happy hour or three thousand words into a written chapter—is the ensemble cast that is LGBTQ St. Louis, in all its pettiness and pageantry, glory, and weirdness. Sometimes he only records the drama; other times he spritzes gasoline on the flames. But all of it captivates him. Readers of this book can count on feeling the same way.” —Nicholas Phillips, St. Louis Magazine
“Chris is a vivid storyteller. His short-story style gives you glimpses into the complexity of his thinking as he reveals the people and places that he loves and that have made an indelible impression on his life. House of Villadiva is a compelling read. The writing is solid and engaging, and when you’ve finished, you really believe that you know Chris, the man. And you believe that there is hope for tomorrow.” —Ken Busby, Cultural Czar of Tulsa
“In House of Villadiva Chris Andoe delivers a revealing look into a slice of St. Louis. Part memoir, part history, Andoe offers a view of some of St. Louis’ most contentious and pressing issues from the vantage point of his inner circle, set to the backdrop of the drama, flair, and even magic of the city’s LGBTQ community. His meticulous recounting of conversations drops readers right into the fray, and proves Andoe’s ability to remember every tooth on the gears that make the city’s LGBTQ world turn.” —Ryan Lee Schuessler, Editor of The St. Louis Anthology
“I stayed up all night reading House of Villadiva. I could not stop. It’s a nail biting page turner for sure. I’ve long said that Andoe is in the top three of my favorite writers in the world and he did not disappoint. The story selection, the descriptions of character and settings are simply perfection. I also learned so much throughout the read about the insanity we call ‘community.’ All I can say is you better get ready. It’ll be the must read of the season.” —Darin Slyman, Darinslyman.com
“Andoe is a master storyteller. His pacing and word choice lead to many laugh out loud moments. What resonates more, however, are the entries that deal with universal experiences such as failed personal relationships, career angst, and our innate need to connect with others. An impressive collection of tales peppered with an array of memorable characters!” —Donald C. Miller, Coming of Age in Popular Culture
“Since first meeting Chris Andoe at a Chicago protest twenty years ago, I’ve come to know him as a soulful writer and a passionate ambassador of St. Louis. In House of Villadiva, Andoe brings us to the center of his tumultuous world as the controversial editor of that metro’s glossy LGBT magazine, all while painting a fascinating portrait of his beloved city. A place that seems part New Orleans, part Savannah, and part gritty 1970s New York.” —John Aravosis, AMERICAblog
“Chris Andoe’s stories continue to help document St. Louis’ most recent LGBTQIA+ history. These tales provide firsthand accounts of colorful and beloved personalities as well as life-changing events and milestones.” —Steven Louis Brawley, St. Louis LGBT History Project.
“In House of Villadiva Andoe establishes conclusively that ‘social media’ and ‘bar culture’ are oxymorons, and slander and libel may be signposts ahead. St. Louis hold on to your hat, tea will be spilled tonight.”—Robert Julian Stone, Postcards From Palm Springs
“If Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson had a love child it would be Chris Andoe” —Colin Murphy, #Boom Magazine
“Chris Andoe’s House of Villadiva really does have it all, offering a vibrant cast of characters and a voice that feels like your sassy gay uncle is whispering in your ear. Truman Capote would love to listen in, along with St. Louis native Tennessee Williams. I was charmed by this audacious volume from the start. Bravo! ” —Scott Alexander Hess, Lambda nominee, Author of River Runs Red
“Word upon word we are treated to a show of oft unrivaled bravura in this accounting of all that comes with living the queer life in St. Louis, Missouri and the world that is Andoe’s. Chris in all his mastery connects us to the players (real people) whether we want to be there or not. You will laugh – oh how you will laugh, you will slide to the edge of your seat, and I can’t promise you won’t spew that coffee through your nose at least once in shock when you read these tales.” – Terry Willits, The Write Trans
“My brother Chris comes from a long line of American storytellers.
“If you look up our father’s side you’ll first see a passenger on the Fortune, the boat after the Mayflower, and then scroll down 100 years past generations of hunters and traders with the Indians and you’ll find a very literate Cherokee chief whose granddaughter walked the trail of tears at 9 after her mother died en route to Oklahoma, and that little girl’s great-grandson was our grandfather, a storyteller second to none expect for our grandmother who Chris learned almost as much from her storytelling as how she listened to us or didn’t listen.
With Grandma, you had to get it going and bring it or she was gone.
“Chris brought it in this book with lucid and vivid storytelling that actualizes in your mind.” —Joe Andoe, Jubilee City