Martin Pousson Black Sheep Boy

Black Sheep Boy

2016

National Endowment for the Arts Award Winner

PEN Center USA Fiction Award Finalist

On Top Down Under Book of the Year Finalist

Best Gay Stories

Best Gay Speculative Fiction: Wilde Stories

NPR: The Reading Life Featured Book

Los Angeles Times Literary Pick

Meet a wild-hearted boy from the bayou land of Louisiana. Misfit, outcast, loner. Call him anything but a victim. Sissy, fairy, Jenny Woman. Son of a mixed-race Holy Ghost mother and a Cajun French phantom father. In a series of tough and tender stories, he encounters gender outlaws, drag queen renegades, and a rogues gallery of sex-starved priests, perverted teachers, and murderous bar owners. To escape his haunted history, the wild-hearted boy must shed his old skin and make a new self. As he does, his story rises from dark and murk, from moss and mud, to reach a new light and a new brand of fairy tale. Cajun legends, queer fantasies, and universal myths converge into a powerful work of counter-realism. Black Sheep Boy is a song of passion and a novel of defiance.


“Electrical, convulsive, hallucinatory, elemental…a book to give you fevers, chills, and visions.”

~ Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day


“Beautifully impressionistic, and also raw, open, and vulnerable. Pousson’s bayou is such a frightening and vibrant place, generous and punishing, and the narrator’s perspective pulls us in, and brings the reader close.”

~ Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master


“An unforgettable novel-in-stories about growing up gay in French Acadiana, so vivid and almost fairy tale-like, drawing on folklore from the region, and yet so brutally realistic. Brilliant. I loved this book.”

~ Susan Larson, NPR: The Reading Life


“Pick up and read this fucking book. It's intensely wild.”

~ Jake Shears, Lead Singer of Scissor Sisters


“Martin Pousson expertly probes the horror of circumstance, place, family, and sexuality through a disjointed series of stories about a ‘no-name’ narrator growing up in the Cajun region of Louisiana. Black Sheep Boy frames its fear through tragic misunderstanding, violence, and sexual confusion, and it illuminates the terrible aching divide of understanding between family members. Highly recommended.”

 ~ The Millions

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“What Pousson does so masterfully is to take such a dazzlingly fantastical and specific world and render it universally recognizable to anyone who's grown up queer in a world that would—sometimes violently—prefer he or she did not. While he artfully lifts the veil on a world outside of most people's experience, he also offers an outstretched hand of solidarity to every black sheep boy and girl who's lucky enough to pick up a copy of his book.”

~ Lambda Literary

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“Pousson...blends Southern Gothic literary heritage, his Cajun upbringing, and his distinctive voice to tell a novel in stories. It follows a boy from Louisiana as he travels through a world full of dangers, both mythical and physical. This is the kind of book you don't have to be LGBT-plus to enjoy; you just need to pick up a copy and start reading.”

~ Los Angeles Times Literary Pick

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“Seductive and thrilling… depths of passion and longing…this book really does cast a spell on you, and the effect is wild and wondrous. Magical realism has moved north to Acadiana, and the spell takes. This is a novel of masks, hidden shames that explode into ecstasy.”

~ The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide

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“Like a priceless gem, Black Sheep Boy is multi-faceted. The writing remains effortlessly lyrical, mesmerizingly inviting, and non-judgmental. The ending is perfection and left up to the reader. One mighty fine piece of writing, one powerful piece of queer literature. Do yourself a favor, go grab this book. 5 Stars!"

On Top Down Under Book Reviews

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"This is a master class in storytelling, a primer on what it means to be mixed race, to be different, to be powerless in the face of belief masquerading as truth. The author invites you to not just walk in another’s shoes, but to don his skin. Black Sheep Boy speaks to the universal truths of being in a world not designed for you and others like you. It is simply brilliant and worth a galaxy of stars. This is worth your time; it is a highly recommended read. 5 Stars."

GGR Review

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“What I loved: the beautiful prose, the Louisiana setting, and a story that wasn’t a romance. I appreciated the almost tall tale quality to it all and the rich history and cultural flavor. Because it isn’t tied with direct references to a particular era, it has a timeless quality to it. A phenomenally well-written book.”

~ Inked Rainbow Reads


“The writing style is deeply visceral… embodies the spirit of Whitman’s ‘I am large and I contain multitudes.’ Pousson does a fantastic job using language to set the stage for…the stunningly rich backdrop of the Louisiana bayou starring a hodgepodge cast of characters that mirror the kaleidoscope of individuals that might crop up in anyone’s life.”

~ Joyfully Jay


“The beauty of the novel is in the way that author Martin Pousson makes the fantastic and specific world of the bayous…recognizable to all of us growing up gay in a place that does not provide solace and comfort.”

~ Reviews By Amos Lassen


“The title story of this novel-in-stories is wonderful, as are all the rest. Pousson is a huge talent.”

~ The Other Stories


“If you like coming-of-age stories about freaky and fabulous southern sissies (and who doesn't?) Black Sheep Boy is a must read. Set in the bayou land of Louisiana, this fabulist tale kept me entranced. Queer lit at its finest!”

~ Justin Vivian Bond, author of Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels


“A fantastic read! Poetic and honest, painful yet beautiful.”

~ Candi Sary, author of Black Crow, White Lie


Black Sheep Boy is a harrowing story of survival…of being an outcast…an excellent read that reminds us that gay life is not always ‘gay.’”

~ Carlos Allende, author of Love, or the Witches of Windward Circle


“Martin Pousson is a wizard with words.”

~ Rich Ferguson, author of New Jersey Me