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Leave Myself Behind : A Coming of Age Novel with Sharp Wit

Leave Myself Behind : A Coming of Age Novel with Sharp Wit

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By Bart Yates

From the author of The Language of Love and Loss, the 20th anniversary edition of the classic Alex Award-winning, gay coming-of-age novel heralded as The Catcher in the Rye meets Portnoy’s Complaint.

“Tart-tongued and appealing… In Bart Yates’ gripping debut novel, Noah spins a tale that is by turns refreshingly strange and poignantly familiar.” —Paul Russell, author of War Against The Animals

Noah York is a smart, sarcastic, complicated seventeen-year-old contending with his dreams of being an artist, his psycho-poet mother, fading memories of his dead father, secrets within the walls of his home—and within his heart as he fights his troubling obsession with the enigmatic boy next door…


“Anybody who tells you he doesn’t have mixed feelings about his mother is either stupid or a liar.”

“Sometimes I feel like Michelangelo, chiseling away at all the crap until nothing is left but the exquisite thing in the middle that no one else sees until it’s uncovered for them.”

Meet seventeen-year-old Noah York, hilariously profane, searingly honest, completely engaging, and heading into a life that’s only getting more complicated by the day. His dead father is fading into a snapshot memory. His mother, a famous psycho-poet, has relocated them from Chicago to a rural New England town that looks like a bad advertisement for small-town America. And now, the very house he lives in is coming apart at the seams—literally—torn down bit by bit as he and his mother renovate the old Victorian. But deep within the walls lie secrets from a previous
life . . .

Amid mason jars stuffed with bits of clothing, scraps of writing, and old photographs lie disturbing clues to the mysterious existence of a woman who disappeared decades before. While his mother grows more obsessed by the discoveries, Noah fights his own troubling 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 terrible, haunting pain behind an easy smile and a carefree attitude.

Noah York’s story is one of hope and heartbreak, love and redemption—and the power of growing up whole once every secret has been set free.

Story Locale:New England (Providence, Rhode Island and rural New Hampshire)
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