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Choir Boyby Charlie Anders
Synopses & Reviews
Twelve-year-old choirboy Berry wants nothing more than to remain a choirboy, surrounded by perfect notes, as opposed to his imperfect, quarreling parents. Choral music and the prospect of divinity thrill him. Desperate to keep his voice from changing, he tries to injure himself, and then convinces a clinic to give him testosterone-inhibiting drugs. The hormone pills keep Berry's voice from deepening but also cause him to grow breasts. Suddenly Berry faces a world of unexpected gender issues that push him into a universe far more complex than anything he has experienced. A fantastical coming-of-age story, Choir Boy combines off-kilter humor and its own brand of modern day magic in a rollicking, bittersweet story about growing up different.
"This delightfully odd novel could be the script for an after-school special aired in Bizarro-land. Forget everything you know about teen angst, and make way for Bach, boobs, and aqua-therapy." Pagan Kennedy, author of Stripping, and Other Stories
"Choir Boy is a daring, strange, emotionally complex, and completely engrossing novel. Anyone who's ever felt slightly alien, oddball, or uneven will love its character, Berry, and its author, Charlie Anders." Scott Heim, author of Mysterious Skin
"Choir Boy gives us an unexpected new way to consider gender, through the adventures of a sweet and nerdy accidental trans-kid. A seriously unique story." Michelle Tea, author of Valencia
A fantastical coming-of-age story, this novel combines off-kilter humor and its own brand of modern-day magic in a rollicking, bittersweet story about a 12-year-old choirboy who wants nothing more than to remain a choirboy.
Berry, age 12, doesn't want to become a man, ever. In an effort to stay a choir boy — surrounded by perfect notes, as opposed to his imperfect, quarreling parents — Berry injures himself, then convinces a clinic to give him testosterone-inhibiting drugs. But there's a catch — the drugs come with a hefty dose of female hormones. Suddenly Berry finds himself with a set of B-cups and a lot of explaining to do. Everyone has an opinion, from his teenage transsexual guardian angel (who wants him to become a girl) to his best friend Wilson (who wants Berry to go back to being a boy). As the town orders Berry to "make a decision," he goes on the run — encountering aquatic discipline tanks, free love pagans, and finally a community center for queer youth. A fantastical coming of age fable in the tradition of Geek Love, Charlie Anders's first novel reminds us just how much power and horror there is in following one's true heart.
About the Author
A former choirboy, Charlie Anders still sings in choirs and karaoke bars. She's the publisher of other magazine, the organizer of acclaimed reading series Writers With Drinks, and the creator of the religious satire site www.godhatesfigs.com. She also wrote The Lazy Crossdresser, a style manifesto for slacker T-girls. Her writing has appeared in the SF Bay Guardian, ZYZZYVA, Punk Planet, Tikkun, Genre, Salon.com, plus the anthologies It's All Good!, Pills, Thrills, Chills & Heartache, Bottoms Up, and That's Revolting!
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