Shawn Stewart Ruff Finlater

ISBN 13: 9781604023954

Finlater

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9781604023954: Finlater
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In this Lambda Literary Award-winning debut, the course of growing up in just-this-side-of-segregation 1970s Cincinnati, Ohio, seems predictable if uninspiring for Cliffy Douglas. That is, until the deadbeat father of this gifted 13-year-old black kid from the Findlater Gardens Projects appears out of nowhere. The real fun and trouble begin when Noah, a Jewish boy he meets in -junior high school, takes him on a joyride to first lust and love.

Urban. Literary Fiction. Explicit.

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From the Author:

Though I'm first and foremost a novelist, history frequently turns up in my fiction. In this novel particularly, since it attempts to capture the period of my growing up in roiling 1970s Cincinnati, Ohio.

From the Inside Flap:

Meet Cliffy Douglas, the 13-year-old narrator of Finlater, a coming-of-age love story set in racially-charged 1970s Cincinnati.
   
First day of school, the bright champion speller from the Findlater Gardens Projects is promoted over seventh grade. In eight-grade algebra class, he is seated beside Noah Baumgarten, and the "Nigger and Jew" are drawn to each other, not least because they are wearing identical striped shirts. Children of their time, segregated by neighborhood, opportunity and skin color, neither boy has ever had a friend like the other. Cliffy is soon convinced that he wants to be Jewish, and Noah a black soul brother, to more fully fit into each other's lives. Deep complexities become apparent. As the two chum around the roiling city, their fantasies collide with reality, and both boys grapple for meaning and clarity beyond the very narrow ideas each has of the other's world.
   
But what ultimately binds the boys is the difficulty each faces at home. Cliffy's world is turned upside down by the sudden reappearance of his dad, while Noah falls into desperation as he tries to save his father from a losing battle with mental illness. Both boys, to an overwhelming degree, are helpless in the face of events overpowering their childhoods, and find in each other refuge from the debris of crumbling families and shifting circumstances. They find first love... its sweetness, and bitterness too.

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