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The Child

by Sarah Schulman

All involved with 15 year-old Stew - gay, straight, WASP, Jewish, blue collar or white - are forced to examine their priorities as Stew's life spins out of control in this perceptive and thought-provoking book. As the characters mostly fail to help either Stew or themselves, this is a tough read and may not appeal to those who prefer to think on the happier things in life.

Extract

This was the kind of life his parents wanted him to have. Repeated nothing day in and day out. This was what they had done, slept through school and watched the game. He had the ability to do that forever. It was how he was raised, but he didn't want to. Now it was evening again, and Stew was freezing this time and starving. He slowly climbed out of the bleachers and headed home.
Stew was afraid to make a decision - he didn't know how to.

Parallels

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous by Graeme Aitken
Empathy by Sarah Schulman
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
 

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