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First published by St. Martin's in 1986, "Blackbird" is a funny, moving, gay coming-of-age novel about growing up black and gay in Southern California. The lead character, Johnnie Ray Rousseau, is a high school student upset at losing the lead role in the school staging of "Romeo and Juliet"; if that weren't enough, his best friend has been beaten badly by his father, and his girlfriend is pressuring him to have sex for the first time. All the while, he's intrigued by Marshall MacNeill, a fellow drama class member who's surely the sexiest man to walk God's green earth-at least according to Johnnie Ray. This novel of adolescent awakening is as fresh and heartfelt as it was when first published. Features an introduction by Michael Nava.

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About the Author

Larry Duplechan is the author of four novels, including Captain Swing and Tangled Up in Blue.


"Blackbird just wasn't the first Black gay coming out tale; it was - and still is - one of the quirkiest and funniest novels I've ever read. Duplechan's lyrical, free-floating prose is joyful, even when tackling teen angst and (gasp!) an exorcism. There are very few books that, when mentioned, make me smile; Blackbird is on that very short list." - James Earl Hardy, author of the B-Boy Blues series"

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