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Tell the Rest

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Two estranged childhood friends find themselves on parallel paths to return to the site of the conversion therapy camp that tore them apart

Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before March 7, 2023.

Preorder on Bookshop
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Forthcoming: 3/7/23

$28.95 $21.71

What people are saying…

“A multilayered gem of a novel, polished, intelligent, and moving. Tell the Rest deftly explores courage, drive, happiness, sexuality, love, and more in a riveting story that whisks readers along to a surprising and satisfying conclusion. I could not put it down.”
—Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times best-selling author of The Last Train to London

“I feel privileged to have had an early read of Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s Tell the Rest. It’s an important book with a story we need now about the horrors of conversion therapy and adult survivors of childhood trauma. And it’s a timely book with urgent exploration of issues including gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, and family. But mostly it’s also a character-driven novel full of basketball, high school escapades, cats who cannot be caged, academics who cannot behave, love for booksellers and bookstores, and indeed love for all kinds of people who need it, which is to say all of us. I enjoyed it beginning to end.”
—Laurie Frankel, New York Times best-selling author of One Two Three

“Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s new novel is a revelation as it skillfully unfurls the lives of three characters—two white, one Black—who’ve meant psychic and literal survival to each other. Bledsoe draws a hard-edged picture of what abuse adults are willing to perpetrate on children who don’t fit their mold. Her tender yet precise debriding of the resultant wounds is an accomplishment that will stay with you. Tell the Rest is heartbreaking, chilling, and ultimately triumphant.”
—Jewelle Gomez, Lambda Award–winning author of The Gilda Stories

“I soared through the delicately orchestrated pages of this novel. Tell the Rest asks the reader many things, but mainly it asks each of us to learn how to fly, to leap beyond words. The reader’s heart is broken, but not the music that the story creates or the challenges of building new landscapes for these incredible characters—sexual, physical, emotional. This is the Lucy Jane Bledsoe novel one lives for, a novel that not only touches the parts that burn but the ways we heal each other even in the silences.”
—Jerry Thompson, coeditor of Berkeley Noir

Tell the Rest is the story of two bruised people—a girls’ basketball coach and a poet—who are finding their feet, and finding their way back to friendship, years after the shared trauma of a religious conversion therapy camp. It’s beautifully told, unsentimental, and every character in it feels like someone I know, someone utterly real. This is a literary novel that could change lives. I can’t wait to put it into the hands of all my friends!”
—Molly Gloss, Whiting–Award winning author of The Jump-Off Creek


Description

Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before March 7, 2023.

Delia Barnes and Ernest Wrangham met as teens at Celebration Camp, a church-supported conversion therapy program—a dubious, unscientific Christian practice meant to “change” a person’s sexuality. After witnessing a close friend suffer a devastating tragedy in the hands of the camp “counselors,” they escaped in the night, only to take separate roads to their distant homes.

They have no idea how each have fared through the years. Delia is a college basketball coach who prides herself on being an empowering and self-possessed role model for her players. But when she gets fired from her elite East Coast university and loses her wife to another woman in rapid succession, she returns to her hometown of Rockside, Oregon to coach the girls’ basketball team at her high school alma mater.

Ernest, meanwhile, is a renowned poet in New York City who’s left behind his loving husband for a temporary teaching job in Portland, Oregon. His work has always been boundary-pushing, fearless. But the poem he’s most wanted to write—about his dangerous escape from Celebration Camp—remains stubbornly out of reach.

Both remain on a mission to overcome the consequences and inhumane costs of conversion therapy. As events find them hurtling toward each other once again, they both grapple with the necessity of remaining steadfast in one’s truth—no matter how slippery that can be. Tell the Rest is a powerful novel about coming to terms—with family, history, violence, loss, sexuality, and ultimately, with love.


Book Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Published: 3/7/23
  • IBSN: 9781636140797
  • e-IBSN: 9781636140827

Author

LUCY JANE BLEDSOE is the author of several works of fiction, including A Thin Bright Line, which was a Lambda Literary Award and Ferro-Grumley Award finalist. She is the winner of an American Library Association Stonewall Award, a Yaddo Fellowship, a California Arts Council Fellowship in Literature, two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships, and a finalist for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Award. A native of Portland, Oregon, she now lives in Berkeley, California. Tell the Rest is her latest work.

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