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The prettiest star

by Sickels, Carter,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: On Order 8 copies
4 people on waitlist
On Order (8)
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EW's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 * O Magazine's "31 LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020" * BookRiot's "Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books of 2020" * Lambda Literary's "Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books of May 2020" * Salon's "Best and boldest new must-read books for May" * BookPage's "19 can't-miss reads from independent publishers" * Garden & Gun's "Best Books of May" * Logo NewNowNext's "11 Queer Books We Can't Wait to Read This Spring"

A stunning novel about the bounds of family and redemption, shines light on an overlooked part of the AIDs epidemic when men returned to their rural communities to die, by Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award-winning author Carter Sickels.

Small-town Appalachia doesn't have a lot going for it, but it's where Brian is from, where his family is, and where he's chosen to return to die.

Set in 1986, a year after Rock Hudson's death brought the news of AIDS into living rooms and kitchens across America, Lambda Literary award-winning author Carter Sickels's second novel shines light on an overlooked part of the epidemic, those men who returned to the rural communities and families who'd rejected them.

Six short years after Brian Jackson moved to New York City in search of freedom and acceptance, AIDS has claimed his lover, his friends, and his future. With nothing left in New York but memories of death, Brian decides to write his mother a letter asking to come back to the place, and family, he was once so desperate to escape.

The Prettiest Star is told in a chorus of voices: Brian's mother Sharon; his fourteen-year-old sister, Jess, as she grapples with her brother's mysterious return; and the video diaries Brian makes to document his final summer.

This is an urgent story about the politics and fragility of the body, of sex and shame. Above all, Carter Sickels's stunning novel explores the bounds of family and redemption. It is written at the far reaches of love and understanding, centering on the moments where those two forces stretch toward each other and sometimes touch.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Sickels' (The Evening Hour, 2012) heart-wrenching novel shows how the 1980s AIDS crisis affects one young man and his family. Hailing from small-town Ohio, Brian dreams of making art and getting the hell out of there. His hometown, where kids play "smear the queer" and the pastor preaches the sins of homosexuality, is no place to come out. But after six years in New York, and the deaths of many of his friends and his boyfriend, he returns home diagnosed HIV-positive. His parents, Sharon and Travis, wash his dinnerware and clothes separately and refuse to tell anyone, including his younger sister, Jess. Brian's grandmother, one of the only people to treat him normally, still believes he is going to get better. As small-town news travels, Brian is vilified, accused of trying to spread AIDS, refused dentist and doctor visits, and shunned, and it tears apart his once close-knit family. The alternating narrators of Brian, Sharon, and Jess are fleshed out in all of their complexities and contradictions. This immersive, tragic book will stay with readers."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A man dying of AIDS returns home to Chester, Ohio, from 1986 New York City in this heartfelt novel from Sickels (The Evening Hour). Brian, a documentary filmmaker whose boyfriend recently died, leaves behind the "ghosts" of the West Village for Chester, "to be seen, to be accepted, and to be loved." As paranoia and fear around the AIDS epidemic escalates, Brian's family finds themselves the targets of malicious gossip and ostracizing, and Brian's presence changes how his sister, Jess; mother, Sharon; father, Travis; and grandmother Lettie relate to each other and to their friends and neighbors. Brian gains additional support from Annie, his best friend from New York and a very out lesbian, who flies to Chester to help brace him from the homophobic taunts endured by him and his family as he documents his experience on video. After Brian feels he's bringing too much trouble to his family, he moves in with a new friend, who eventually invites Brian's grandmother, Lettie, to come and care for him after his condition worsens. Sickels is at his best in his characters' most painful moments, poignantly revealing Lettie's regret of offering Brian too little, too late. This tragic story of AIDS and violent homophobia stands out by showing the transcendent power of queer communities to make their voices endure through art. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Apr.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects AIDS (Disease) -- Patients -- United States -- Fiction.
AIDS (Disease) -- Patients.
United States.
Historical fiction.
Publisher Spartanburg, SC :2020
Language English
Description pages cm
ISBN 9781938235627
Other Classic View