Mysterious Skin


Author:Scott Heim

Title: Mysterious Skin

Genre: Gay/Lesbian

Publication Date: 1995

Number of Pages: 292

Geographical Setting: Hutchinson, Kansas

Time Period: Segments of the book are set in each of the years 1981, 1983 and 1987

Series (If applicable):n/a

Plot Summary: In 1981 eight year old Brian wakes up in the crawlspace of his house, bleeding and not able to remember the last five hours. He comes to believe he has been abducted by a UFO. At the same time, in the same town Neil, also eight years old, is molested by his little league coach. Over the next several years the two take drastically different paths but ultimately are drawn to each other in an attempt to understand the traumatic events that have shaped their lives.

Subject Headings: Gay/Lesbian issues, child sexual abuse, male prostitution, repressed memories, coming of age

Appeal: dramatic, interior, reflective, sympathetic, well-drawn, detailed setting, small-town, stark, darker, emotionally-charged, introspective, nightmare, uneasy, thoughtful, frank, stark,

3 terms that best describe this book: Graphic, Disturbing, Moving

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Why I killed Peter. By Olivier Ka. A graphic novel depicting the author’s confronting the priest who abused him when he was twelve.

Young Man from the Provinces: A Gay Life Before Stonewall by Alan Helms. This memoir traces the author’s journey from a difficult childhood, growing up gay in 1950’s small town Indiana to a career as an actor and model in the significantly more open New York City.

Why I Didn’t Say Anything: The Sheldon Kennedy Story by Sheldon Kennedy and James Grainger. I

A memoir of a famous Canadian hockey player who reveals the childhood abuse he suffered at the hands of his former coach.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley. A coming of age story focusing on a budding relationship between two young men in the rural south.

Heart is Deceitful Above All Things by J. T. LeRoy. A series of stories focusing on a young person suffering from gender confusion and set in the rough world of truck stop prostitution.

The World of Normal Boys by K. M. Soehnlein. A coming of age novel set in 1978 about a thirteen yearl old boy and his explorations of his homosexuality.

Name: Kris Harrison


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