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Bruce Spang
Author, Contributor, Editor (anthology)
The Deception of the Thrush
In 1964, Jason Follett is an athlete and a fraternity brother at his small-town college. He tries to seem like every other student, but he is hiding a secret that could destroy his hopes of fitting in—he is attracted to other men. After Jason is caught vandalizing another student’s room in an attempt to prove his masculinty, his repressed anger erupts and he gets into a violent fight with a friend. His days of being just another student on campus abruptly come to an end. Rejected by his classmates, Jason is drawn to the anti-war and civil rights movements. But even though he can stand up against war and racism, he still can’t stand up for himself. As the nation is shattered by the horrors of the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy, Jason is torn: His parents want him to accept being drafted, but he doesn’t want to risk his life for the war he protests. With the possibility of being forced to fight looming over his head, Jason must choose whether to appease his parents or finally be true to who he really is.

This is a really beautiful and important book. Not just a a "coming of age" novel, not just a "coming out" novel, not just an "Anti-Vietnam war" novel, it captures all those themes and so many more. It is so clear from Spang's beautiful writing style that he is also an award-winning poet. I believe that this is his first novel and I hope it isn't his last. Deception of the Thrush deserves to be widely purchased and read!