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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gay teens find hope in "Prairie Springs"

Gay men are six times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts and the numbers increase exponentially during the holidays, according to the Department of Health.

National Gay News reports:

L.R. Williamson, author of Prairie Springs, a newly released novel about life in a pious small town, deals with the issue of gay teenage suicide and hopes that parents of teens who suspect their child might be gay or lesbian will read it. “If one struggling gay teen, or anyone for that matter, is saved, writing the book was seven years well spent,” says Williamson, who grew up in a small town similar to the fictitious Prairie Springs. “If parents aren’t giving the love, and the church isn’t giving the love, teens fear there is no hope. There is, though,” Williamson says, “it’s called moving—the day after graduation. Teens have to know there is life beyond the confines of the city limits where they feel trapped.” Williamson uses the character of Anna Aron, a young Jewish woman from New York, who leaves her Wall Street job to accept a teaching position in the predominantly Baptist town of Prairie Springs, to give birth to the loosely connected vignettes about the town’s residents that connect for a surprise ending with a touch of suspense. What Williamson has been able to do is make the sensitive issue of discrimination downright hilarious by using extreme and zany characters.

Visit author’s website at L.R. Williamson

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