(Eric Molinksy )

In Wayne Hoffman’s new novel Sweet Like Sugar, Benji, the 20-something gay web designer looking for love, discovers that the only connection that seems to be happening for him is with an aging Orthodox rabbi. The connection is not a romantic one, but it has a powerful impact on Benji all the same.

Interspersed throughout the novel are vignettes from Benji’s past, tracing his development from very Jewish but not yet gay identified boy to very gay but no longer very Jewish identified adult. They are sweet, evocative, sometimes funny and sometimes painful. In this clip from an interview you can hear more of on Monday’s episode of Vox Tablet, Hoffman talks about one of those vignettes, which he drew directly from his own experience…

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Full disclosure: along with being an engaging writer, Wayne Hoffman is also deputy editor of Nextbook Press, a close relative of Tablet’s.