Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson
In this haunting debut novel from Lambda Award finalist Genevieve Hudson, a young German transplant falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power.
A queer coming-of-age told with magical realism, Boys of Alabama guides us through 16-year-old Max's first year in America. Conflicted about leaving Germany, Max is in awe of his new "home" - here, the heat is thick, the food is grossly delicious, and football and religion-seemingly intertwined-permeate everything. While his parents don't know what to make of an American South pining for the "good ol' days," or the people who live there, shy Max thrives-he makes the football team, goes to church for the first time, and even makes friends.
When Max meets Pan in Chemistry class, they embark on a quixotic, strange, and consuming relationship. They tell each other their secrets; Max tells Pan about his witchy powers, Pan tells Max about the snake poison initiations of a local church. But the boys aren't sure whose secrets are darker, or what is more frightening - their true selves, or staying true in an intolerant Alabama.
Written in atmospheric, propulsive prose, Boys of Alabama is an evocative and urgent novel of young love, identity, faith, and the dangers of each.
Hardback / 304 pages