Fruit Cocktail: A Novel

"If Armistead Maupin and David Sedaris had a love child it would be Arthur Wooten."
- The Huffington Post



In this freshly squeezed sequel to the critically acclaimed On Picking Fruit, Curtis Jenkins ironically pens the bestselling self-help book, 101 Ways to Collide into Your Gay Soul Mate, while still finding himself single and in the deep end of the dating pool.


As Curtis embarks on an adventurous book tour, his party girl mother, Mrs. J., and exasperating best friend, Quinn, help him brave the fickle dating scene while adjusting to his new found fame. But whether he finds true love or not, Curtis does find himself and thatís the best discovery anyone can make.


Funny, unpredictable, warm and surprisingly emotional, Fruit Cocktail is, like its feckless hero, ripe for the picking.

Review by Mark Peikert
HX Magazine - NYC

"Yay! Curtis Jenkins is back, after winning our hearts in Wooten's On Picking Fruit. Now Jenkins has hit the big-time with a best-seller, not that everything's sunshine and lollipops. His tornado of a mom is bi, he gets lured into a nude yoga retreat and he's dating a priest. Still hilarious, here's to many more Jenkins adventures!"

Review by Ralph Higgins
Wayves Newspaper - Canada - Nationally

It is in On Picking Fruit, Arthur Wooten's very successful first novel that we first meet Curtis Jenkins, a rather hapless forty-something, HIV positive hero who has achieved success in many areas of his life but whose search for love continually bumps into walls. Curtis' most admirable traits are his relentless pursuit of happiness and his ability to laugh at himself when he fails, over and over again. Aiding and interfering are his best friend, Quinn and his free loving but rather domineering mother, Mrs. J.

His latest novel, Fruit Cocktail, continues the hilarious adventures of Curtis who has now written a book on how to find Mr. Right- all the time hiding the fact that he himself is still single. While publicizing the book, Curtis tries new ways of meeting his soul mate: naked yoga, online meetings and flirting with customers at book signings. His record of success, however, remains the same including one scene where he has to be rescued by his mother from a bondage scenario. His rather worldly mother merely reminds him, "If you're going to get tied up, always make sure it is at their place. That way they have to untie you eventually."

Wooten manages to combine great compassion and humour together. We laugh with Curtis and empathize with his predicament. In fact, some scenes seem so familiar you might suspect the author of snooping through your private diary. Others are outrageously outlandish: Quinn and a truck driver having a very unusual one-handed race to the finish on the interstate, an appearance that turns into a telethon for a live cable program with a personality called Bobbie Vibrato, Curtis' mother's same sex romance, and Curtis doing the Can Can in drag in Provincetown (forgetting he wasn't wearing underwear.)

Fruit Cocktail will make you smile, cheer and laugh out loud.

Books by Arthur Wooten

In Wise Bear William: A New Beginning, toys long forgotten in an attic discover that children are coming up to rescue them.
On Picking Fruit is a delicious tale about a gay man whose search for love runs up against bad luck, bad boys and bad advice from his irreverent mother, incorrigible best friend and unorthodox shrink.
In this freshly squeezed sequel to the critically acclaimed On Picking Fruit, Curtis Jenkins ironically pens the bestselling self-help book, 101 Ways to Collide into Your Gay Soul Mate, while still finding himself single and in the deep end of the dating pool.
A Stroke Of Luck: a short story and The "Dear Henry" Letters
In 1954 a divorced and destitute suburban housewife finds self-esteem, financial security and true love selling Tupperware.
When Lex Martindale, a New York City writer, goes home to celebrate his birthday and say good-bye to his dying father, he struggles with whether or not to share with his eccentric Southern family news of his own life-threatening situation.
Angie Styles, a beloved Broadway star, is struck down at the height of her career by a mysterious disease and is forced to reexamine her life and the people in it as she fights to survive.