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Queer Novel Mini-Series: Virtual Book Talk with Carter Sickels

As part of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center’s 2020 Queer Novel Mini-Series, we are proud to host Carter Sickels for a virtual author talk on the center’s Facebook live on June 8 at 7pm. He will read from his new novel, The Prettiest Star.

About the book:

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.

Part Dog Years by Mark Doty and part Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, The Prettiest Star 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.

Books are available for purchase, with a percentage donated back to Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, here.

This project has been supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities

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