Freaks and Revelations

Davida Wills Hurwin, November 2009. This superb, hard-hitting novel is based on the true story of a teenage white supremacist and his confrontation with a runaway turning tricks.  Jason’s born-again mother kicks him out when she finds out he’s gay, so he lives on the streets for several years, eating from garbage cans and looking for sugar daddies, but accepting cash from casual encounters to fund his daily survival.  Doug learned to hate black, Latino, and gay people from a young age, fueled by his drug use, his father’s daily violence, and his brother’s shooting at the hands of one of “them.”

When Doug’s world collides with Jason’s outside a doughnut shop, it changes Jason’s life forever, but Doug remains active in the white supremacist world. He marries a woman who swears she’ll smash their children’s heads against a wall if she finds out he, and they, have “one ounce of dark blood.” They teach their children to point out “black niggers” in the grocery store, and live their lives aggressively and defensively until Doug sees the light and begins to repent.

The characters are intensely real, and so is the dialogue.  The book reads like Adam Rapp or Ellen Hopkins right up until the ending, which disappoints. It’s great that Doug realizes he shouldn’t teach his kids to hate, and that Jason finds love and gets off the streets, but everything ties up too neatly.  Rapp or Hopkins would have left more scars on their characters.

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This entry was posted in 2009, asian american, black, Davida Wills Hurwin, gay male, gay-bashing, latina/o, problem novel, prostitution, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, sexual violence. Bookmark the permalink.

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