Leave Myself Behind: A Novel

Kensington Publishing Corp.
7
Free sample

The Alex Award–winning novel of a young gay man’s search for meaning—from an author whose “voice is more than just honest or original; it’s real” (The Plain Dealer).
 
Meet seventeen-year-old Noah York, the hilariously profane, brutally honest, completely engaging narrator of Bart Yates’s astonishing debut novel. With a mouth like a truck driver and eyes that see through the lies of the world, Noah is heading into a life that’s only getting more complicated by the day.
 
His dead father is fading into a snapshot memory, and his psycho-poet mother has relocated them from Chicago to a rural New England hamlet that looks like a bad advertisement for small-town America. The house he now lives in is literally coming apart at the seams as he and his mother renovate the old Victorian—in which they discover disturbing clues to the mysterious existence of a woman who disappeared decades before.
 
While his mother grows more obsessed with the mysterious woman, Noah fights his own troubling—but irresistible—obsession with the boy next door, the enigmatic J.D. It is J.D. who begins to quietly anchor Noah to his new life. J.D., who is hiding a terrible, haunting pain of his own that will affect Noah in ways he never thought possible . . .
 
Part Portnoy, part Holden Caulfield, never less than truthful, and always fully human, Noah York is a touching and unforgettable character whose “blunt, funny and dead-on narrative” is sure to entertain and entrance readers (Brian Malloy).
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About the author

Bart Yates lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where he works as a freelance musician and teacher. He has a master’s degree from Boston University, and he plays clarinet in a jazz duo, Nica’s Dream. He is the author of the award-winning Leave Myself Behind as well as The Brothers Bishop. Readers may visit his website at www.bartyates.com.
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3.9
7 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Kensington Publishing Corp.
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Published on
Apr 1, 2004
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Pages
276
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ISBN
9780758290021
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / LGBT / Gay
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Three people take a road trip to Missouri in the early 1960s in “an eerie, haunting, beautifully realized novel populated by charming misfits and eccentrics” (Joseph Olshan, author of Cloudland).
 
When fifty-four-year-old Julianna Dapper slips out of a mental hospital in Bangor, Maine, on a June day in 1962, it’s with one purpose in mind. Julianna knows she must go back to the tiny farming community in northern Missouri where she was born and raised. It’s the place where she and her best friend, Ben Taylor, roamed as children, and where her life’s course shifted irrevocably one night long ago.
 
Embarking on her journey, Julianna meets Elijah Hunter, a shy teenage African American boy, and Jon Tate, a young hitchhiker on the run from the law. The three become traveling companions, bound together by quirks of happenstance. And even as the emerging truth about Julianna’s past steers them inexorably toward tragedy, their surprising bond may be the means to transform fear and heartache into the strength that finally guides Julianna home.
 
“With fresh language and uniquely imperfect characters, Noah Bly weaves a story of a cross-country trek that is both improbable and believable. This fresh, engrossing novel left me convinced of the power of memory, even as it arises from a disturbed mind, and taught me—as Bly promises—the wisdom of faith in the ridiculous.” —Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August
 
“A glorious, madcap American road novel in the picaresque tradition . . . Think On the Road written by Flannery O’Connor.” —Stephen Lovely, author of Irreplaceable
This award-winning novel of growing up in 1970s New Jersey “reads like a cross between the film American Beauty and Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story” (The Advocate).
 
A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and Winner of the Lambda Literary Award
 
The time is the late 1970s—an age of gas shortages, head shops, and Saturday Night Fever. The place, suburban New Jersey. At a time when the teenagers around him are coming of age, Robin MacKenzie is coming undone. While “normal boys” are into cars, sports, and bullying their classmates, Robin enjoys day trips to New York City with his elegant mother, spinning fantastic tales for her amusement in an intimate ritual he has come to love. He dutifully plays the role of the good son for his meat-and-potatoes father, even as his own mind is a jumble of sexual confusion and painful self-doubt. But everything changes in one horrifying instant when a tragic accident wakes his family from their middle-American dream and plunges them into a spiral of slow destruction.
 
As his family falls apart, Robin finds himself pulling away from the unquestioned, unexamined life that has been carefully laid out for him, engaging in small acts of rebellion and asking big questions. The result is a “rich and unflinching” story of an outcast figuring out his own complex future beyond the world of normal boys (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“This first novel is so eloquent because it is hellbent on collaring the reader and telling him or her the whole passionate story.” —Edmund White
 
“An amusingly detailed and largely accurate picture of life in the Jersey ’burbs.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Full of tension and suspense, Soehnlein’s well-paced debut novel is a fresh look at one boy’s sexual awakening in the 1970s and his journey to find a place where he can fit in.” —Booklist
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