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Brave Face: A Memoir
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About the Author

Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, At the Edge of the Universe, and We Are the Ants. He also edited the anthologies Violent Ends and Feral Youth and wrote the memoir Brave Face, which chronicles his struggles with depression and coming out during his teenage years. He lives in Seattle, where he enjoys drinking coffee, yelling at the TV, and eating cake. Visit him at ShaunDavidHutchinson.com or on Twitter @ShaunieDarko.

Reviews

"Shaun David Hutchinson has been hammering out one brilliant book after another, and Brave Face is his most honest and courageous one yet. This profound memoir is a triumph--a full-throated howl to the moon to remind us why we choose to survive and thrive."

--Brendan Kiely, New York Times bestselling author of Tradition


"As much a book about coming out as it is a book about simply coming to be, Brave Face is the bravest memoir I've read in years. Illuminating, brutally honest, poignant, and sometimes laugh out loud funny, this isn't a book just for queer kids, it's a book for any teen (or adult) who feels left out, rejected, confused, and scared about their place in the world."----Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
YA author Hutchinson (The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried) explores the travails of coming into his sexuality in the early 1990s, when homophobia was deeply rampant in the U.S., the AIDS crisis was in devastating full force, and equal rights for anyone on the LGBTQ spectrum were still a distant dream. With the lack of positive representation of queerness, Hutchinson's views of gay people were so negative that it took him years to recognize his own sexuality. In the meantime, trying to live an inauthentic life left him angry and depressed for reasons he couldn't grasp. The author explores his teenage years with raw honesty, presenting the truth as he saw it and sharing passages from his diaries to illustrate the turmoil he experienced--which many queer teens will continue to empathize with. Though he describes himself at times in deep depression and engaging in self harm, the memoir ends on a positive note, sharing the ways in which he finds acceptance both within himself and within the queer community, and sending an important message to other queer teens: your life is a gift, and support is out there.--Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW "March 25, 2019 "
Coming of age in the 1990s, Shaun David Hutchinson (At the Edge of the Universe) knew certain things about being gay from the messages society sent: "Gay people, especially gay men, were so often portrayed as promiscuous sexual deviants and drug abusers that, even in spite of my own limited personal experience, it's how I saw them too." Through pop culture, politics and news headlines, Shaun learned "there was no future to being gay," which presented a tremendous problem for the teen when he finally came to terms with the fact that he is gay.

In his powerful memoir, Brave Face, the young adult author bares his soul to the world about realizing his sexual orientation and suffering from a depression so profound he attempted suicide. Hutchinson's raw honesty pierces readers as he describes his fight to find an identity in a world that viewed homosexuals as "so worthless that they didn't even deserve to live." His fear and pain radiate off the pages, demanding others experience a small part of it, too. Audiences will be hard-pressed not to feel the emotional weight Hutchinson carries: "It was like every person I came into contact with was plugging themselves into me, and occasionally I'd overload and short." His journey to acceptance is one marred with struggle and loss, but also imbued with hope. Hutchinson's gift for language makes this uncomfortable story beautiful and forceful. Courageous and commanding, Brave Face is a bold, banner announcement that there is a future for everyone. --Jen Forbus, freelancer Discover: A young adult writer tells his personal story of coming to terms with his sexual orientation and his battle with life-threatening depression.--Shelf Awareness "June 18, 2019 "

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