Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
A Novel

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Golden Boy is weighed down by its adherence to responsibly describing capital-I-issues. Though the novel seems to be presented as some kind of Very Special Episode, Golden Boy itself is, as a work of literary fiction, completely unremarkable.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

"This is a gripping and fully-realized novel." —Emily St. John Mandel, National Book Award-nominated author of Station Eleven


2014 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST
WINNER OF THE 2014 ALEX AWARD
BOOKLIST TOP 10 FIRST NOVEL OF 2013
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2013

Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he’s the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He’s even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max’s mother, is determined to maintain the façade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years, but now that the boys are getting older, she worries that the façade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband Steve has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won’t his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he’s starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him—desire him—once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really?

Golden Boy is a novel you’ll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.
 

About Abigail Tarttelin

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Abigail Tarttelin is a writer, an actress, and the book editor for Phoenix magazine in the UK. She lives in London. Find out more at AbigailTarttelin.com. Sahar Delijani was born in Tehran's Evin Prison in 1983 and grew up in California, where she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has been published in a broad spectrum of literary journals and publications, including The Battered Suitcase, Tryst, Slice Magazine, Prick of the Spindle, Perigee, Border Hopping, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Sangam Review. She was nominated for the 2010 and 2011 Pushcart Prize and was for a time a regular contributor to Iran-Emrooz (Iran of Today) Political and Cultural Journal. She makes her home with her husband in Turin, Italy. Children of the Jacaranda Tree is her first novel. Find out more at SaharDelijani.com/en. Christina Schwarz is the author of three previous novels, including Oprah Book Club pick Drowning Ruth. Born and raised in rural Wisconsin, she lives in Southern California. Kate Morton, a native Australian, holds degrees in dramatic art and English literature. She lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia. Douglas Kennedy is the author of ten previous novels, including the international bestseller The Moment. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages, and in 2007 he received the French decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Find out more at DouglaslKennedyNovelist.com. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist living in Los Angeles. Before becoming a writer, she worked in entertainment and education. This is her first novel. Lucinda Riley is the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Orchid House and The Girl on the Cliff. Born in Ireland, she now lives in the English countryside and in France with her husband and four children. Karen Brown is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and Pins and Needles: Stories, which was the recipient of AWP’s Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, and Good Housekeeping. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of South Florida. Saira Shah has won three Emmys for her films Unholy War, Beneath the Veil, and Death in Gaza. She has also written an autobiography, The Storyteller’s Daughter. Saira retired from filmmaking in 2003 and divides her time between the UK and France. Katja Millay grew up in Florida and graduated with a degree in film & television production from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has worked as a television producer, and a film studies and screenwriting teacher. Currently she resides in Florida with her family. The Sea of Tranquility is her first book. Tamara N. Houston is managing partner of Roundtable Entertainment, one of Hollywood’s top artist management and media production companies. Under Houston’s leadership the company has expanded into the UK and started developing two television programs. She has been active on committees for national and international charities, including “First Star,” “Shine On Sierra Leone,” and “Braintrust.” Patricia Scanlan is the author of Forgive and Forget, Happy Ever After, and Love and Marriage, all international bestsellers. She lives in Dublin. Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published twenty-five novels since. They include Schindler’s List, which won the Booker Prize in 1982, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Confederates, and Gossip from the Forest, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir Homebush Boy, The Commonwealth of Thieves, and Searching for Schindler. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.
 
Published May 21, 2013 by Atria Books. 354 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Golden Boy
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Deborah Dundas on Jul 19 2013

This story becomes about choice, both the lack of power Max is given by his family to make his own choices, and the stark ones he is ultimately faced with.

Read Full Review of Golden Boy: A Novel | See more reviews from Toronto Star

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Emily M. Keeler on Jun 21 2013

Golden Boy is weighed down by its adherence to responsibly describing capital-I-issues. Though the novel seems to be presented as some kind of Very Special Episode, Golden Boy itself is, as a work of literary fiction, completely unremarkable.

Read Full Review of Golden Boy: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Emily M. Keeler on Jun 21 2013

Golden Boy is weighed down by its adherence to responsibly describing capital-I-issues. Though the novel seems to be presented as some kind of Very Special Episode, Golden Boy itself is, as a work of literary fiction, completely unremarkable.

Read Full Review of Golden Boy: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for Golden Boy
82%

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