The University of Wisconsin Press

Fiction / Gay & Lesbian Interest

In Thrall
A Novel
Jane DeLynn

"Dear Miss Maxfield,
Just in case you don't know, I am in love with you. . . . What I'm really afraid of is that I am a homosexual human being. . . . Probably there is only one person who is homosexual in one place at one time and that one person (I am afraid) is me."

Sixteen-year-old Lynn writes her thirty-seven-year-old English teacher a letter, and together they embark on one of the funniest—and saddest—love affairs in fiction: one shrouded in secrecy and guilt. This is the early 1960s, years before gay liberation, when all Lynn knows about "lezbos" is that they wear their hair in crew cuts, buy suits like her father's, and sprout mustaches. In her desire to appear "normal," Lynn continues to make homophobic jokes with her girlfriends, neck with her boyfriend, and play the innocent with her parents, even as she checks the mirror each night for the telltale signs of her "perversion." This witty, poignant, and highly charged novel proves that Jane DeLynn is a writer of the first rank.

"All Lynn's phobias, aversions, preferences, and hang-ups make her exaggerated but real and terrifically funny. The great triumph of this novel is that DeLynn has captured the way adolescents felt, talked, and behaved during the early 1960s."—San Francisco Chronicle

"One of the 100 best gay and lesbian novels of all time"
Publishing Triangle

Jane DeLynn is the author of the widely acclaimed novels Leash, Real Estate, Some Do, and Don Juan in the Village, also published by the UW Press, Don Juan in the Village. Her work has appeared in Paris Review, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, New York Times, New York Observer, and Tikkun, and she lived in Saudi Arabia as a correspondent for Mirabella and Rolling Stone during the Gulf War. She shares time between Long Island and St. Louis.

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October 2003
LC: 2003045826 PS
256 pp.   6 x 9  

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Paper $22.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-19014-9
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A dazzling novel. . . . The most obvious comparison is Holden Caulfield and The Catcher in the Rye. It's got real wit to it and an audacious originality. The dialogue is superb and the pace perfect. . . . The single most wonderful quality of this novel is its absolute credibility. This book is going to have a long, long life."
Los Angeles Times Book Review

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