Larry Duplechan is a straight shooter. Whether he's recounting the triumphs and challenges he's had during a sporadic year career as a gay fiction writer or considering the recent film version of his book, "Blackbird," he rarely minces words. Duplechan recently revealed to Desert Outlook his experience watching Polk's interpreation of his semi-autobiographical story, his message to young LGBT people, why he doesn't intend to write another novel, and what he likes to do when visiting Palm Springs with his husband. What's it like for you to hear from readers like filmmaker Patrik-Ian Polk and me that your book, "Blackbird," had a profound effect on how we see ourselves as gay men of color?
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Blackbird by Larry Duplechan. Michael Nava Goodreads Author Introduction. First published by St.
This novel of adolescent awakening is as fresh and heartfelt as it was when first published. Features an introduction by Michael Nava.
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Start your review of Blackbird Little Sister's Classics. Sep 18, Rena rated it it was amazing Shelves: bois. I see why this is a classic gay novel. He's smart, sensitive and confident in a way that is endearing.
I want to pick up all of Larry Duplechan's subsequent books that feature Johnnie Ray. Johnnie Ray is unapologetically himself a feat in itself for a YA protagonist, let alone an African-American, homosexual, teenage-boy coming of age in the late s and this novel is an interesting portrait of a few months of his life.
Blackbird fills to the brim with compassion, understanding, authenticity and insightful perceptions. Its storyline tells of a young man's coming of age and coming to face the reality of his sexual orientation against the backdrop of an environment where judgments of others supersedes any understanding or acceptance of others.
This book's many sub-themes each feel accurate and believable: the story and fate of the teenage couple who've 'made a baby,' the teachers who fail at teaching, the racism t Blackbird fills to the brim with compassion, understanding, authenticity and insightful perceptions. This book's many sub-themes each feel accurate and believable: the story and fate of the teenage couple who've 'made a baby,' the teachers who fail at teaching, the racism the hurts target and victim both, the homophobia that condemns the hater and the hated, the church that fails at Christianity and the many parents who have failed at truly parenting their children.
The book has many sad stories within it. Teenage suicide, teenage pregnancy, racial divide and others. While the main theme of the book deals with a young man coming to terms with his own sexuality, a frightful experience for all teenagers, straight or gay, the sub-theme that stuck me most dealt with how religion becomes a tool and excuse for hatred, judgment, condemnation and stupidity strong enough to allow parents to disavow their own children.
In fact, the book's most insightful and stinging prose deals with this use of religious belief to justify personal judgment, "I just couldn't believe that the God who made me what I am could be any more displeased with me for not being heterosexual than for not being tall. Meister Eckhardt summed it up thusly: "God does not love you because of who you are, but because of who He is.
It is a powerful, insightful book. It is a must read by all readers, not because its theme is homosexuality, but because it is humanity; humanity at its best, and humanity at its worst. Sep 18, Jeffrey Powanda rated it really liked it Shelves: gay.
Sweet coming-of-age story of Johnnie Ray Rousseau, a gay black teen in the suburbs of Los Angeles in Johnny knows he's gay, but he hasn't come out to his friends or family yet. His gayness is more important to his identity than his blackness. In fact, most of his friends are white, and he's sexually attracted to blonde boys.
Johnnie is a singer, and there are many musical references throughout the book; the title is from the famous Beatles song from The White Album. When Johnnie is turned down for the lead in the high school play, he auditions for a J. Marshall becomes Johnnie's first love. The book throws in several unneeded subplots about teen pregnancy, suicide, multiple personality disorder, and parental abuse, but Rousseau's endearing narrative voice holds everything together and makes this novel consistently moving and enjoyable.
Johnnie's fictional life story continues in Duplechan's four other novels, the most recent being Got 'Til It's Gone. The novel Blackbird was loosely adapted into a movie starring Mo'Nique in Jonnie Ray is obsessed with pop culture and therefore I had a feeling that this book is an homage to music and film or should I say movie? He [Johnnie Ray:] is so sincere when he talks about his emotions about people that he loves and about those he fantasize.
His descriptions of longing, first touch and then sex are so real so honest, never augmented and never sensationalistic as if it was allowed you to peek thru the keyhole. They are just they really are.
You can really recognize the feeling. Of course regardless of sexual orientation. The way society handled with teen pregnancy, homo and hetero sexuality, religion, teen suicide, queer bashing, child abuse, has been described fantastically. This was fast and easy read in which I really enjoyed. Of course from present perspective you can even ask yourself why it was big deal to publish novel like this or even skip the fact that main character is homosexual like I almost did with this one but I presume than the they were pioneers.
It helps a lot to the reader to create full picture about the time when novel appeared. Nov 14, Charles Smith rated it did not like it. It's obvious that Duplechan sees no value in writing about a totally or predominantly black milieu.
However, this time we see him five years earlier when he was an year-old high school student in a small Southern California town. If Larry Duplechan were a much more careful writer, a "While reading "Blackbird," Larry Duplechan's second romantic gay comic novel, the term 'crossover' kept springing to mind.
If Larry Duplechan were a much more careful writer, a lot of the inconsistencies that appear [in the book] would have been greatly reduced, particularly the more obvious bits of information, some of it carryovers from the first book. For example, whatever happened to David, his younger brother, who because he was better-looking, played a significant role in how Johnny Ray viewed himself?
It would be refreshing,for a change, if Duplechan stopped trying to be an assimilationist, and took pride in being of African descent. Apr 25, Jake rated it really liked it.
Really good! The main character is a young, gay, black teen, and his descriptions of high school somehow manage to be simultaneously witty and scarily accurate. The humor is what makes the book for me. My boyfriend committed suicide.
My parents kicked me out. But Black Really good! But Blackbird takes this story and makes it seem human. Like sure, bad stuff happens, but through it all it's presented in a stoic, witty, realistic light. Basically, I liked this book because Johnnie Ray's experiences were so similar to my own in high school and beyond, and it was not presented as a story with an unhappy ending.
Jan 29, Annalisa rated it liked it. Pros: a black coming out story where none of the gays died! Compelling enough to make me want to keep reading even when I found things nonsensical, and many of the more difficult topics were fairly well handled.
Cons: The prison rape fantasy in the play seemed badly handled no examination at all of why that is a totally inappropriate thing, although the play DID get canceled and completely unnecessary, though thankfully brief.
Jul 13, Anthony Salazar rated it liked it. Definitely underdeveloped. The author has potential, though. Pretty well-done coming-of-age story. Dark moments not heavily dwelled upon. Ground-breaking for its time of publication.
Aug 12, Bianca Rose rated it liked it. I enjoyed this book. It was written very simply and eloquently.
Blackbird (Little Sister's Classics)
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Blackbird (New Edition)