Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson (Author)
Boys of Alabama tells the story of Max, a young sensitive teen who just moved from Germany to Alabama with his parents. Moving country in a sensitive period of time also means that Max had a lot of new things to learn: from how to catch a spiraling ball in his new football team, to how to point a gun properly, and even how to keep his secrets from others’ eyes. Striving in the drenching heat of Alabama, the boy now knows things he didn’t even think of.
Already heard of the American appetite before, never did Max could imagine how his new rough pals could yearn so much for the cheesy and the friend, or the frequency and the vulgarity by which they talk about girls in the locker room. He didn’t expect the comradery, either, that welcomes him so dearly into the world of friendship. The muscle that working out adorns him with surprises himself, making him feel like he is playing a dress up game.
The biggest wonder of his new life doesn’t come until the introduction of Pan – the goth of the school that hair is straight up from gel and a choker wrapped around his neck. The one who Max can talk about supernatural powers with, and the one who tells him about the snake poison in the local church. Each one bears a dark past, and how delightful – or woeful – is that now they can find someone they can be themselves with.
The Boys of Alabama summary is a story about queer love, in a city that football and guns are kings. The masculinity and religion here are depicted nuanced, and the conformity from the peer pressure is crushing. Max was enamored, and the audience should expect the same.
Genevieve Hudson is the author of the novel Boys of Alabama: a novel, A Little in Love with Everyone, and Pretend We Live Here: Stories. Her writing has appeared in ELLE Magazine, Oprah Magazine, McSweeney’s, Catapult, Bitch, and other places. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, MacDowell Colony, Caldera Arts, and Vermont Studio Center.
“Debut novelist Hudson sets her unique coming-of-age tale in a hot, swampy Alabama steeped in football and God. . . . This is a little southern gothic, a little supernatural, and a little reminiscent of Wiley Cash’s suspenseful A Land More Kind than Home (2012).”
- Kathy Sexton, Booklist
“Boys of Alabama brilliantly reinvents the Southern Gothic... An absolutely magical novel.”
- Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks
“A gripping, uncanny, and queer exploration of being a boy in America, told with detail that dazzles and disturbs.”
- Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir
“Genevieve Hudson dismantles and spins a new category of fairy tale for us, one that’s equal parts dirt and splendor. A glinting, dark beauty. An incantation.”
- T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girl
“This novel is a love song to outsiders of all kinds, a queer love story about the ways we find to heal ourselves and each other, and proof that there can be magic amid the burdens of masculinity.”
- Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me
“Genevieve Hudson has conjured a novel that sets place as a touchstone. Every field is alive: every leaf, every insect, every crawling thing. Hands beget love, words set like sweetness on the tongue. The magic contained in Boys of Alabama's pages isn't just fixed in the beauty of its sentences; it's seen in the way that Hudson carefully crafts the intimacy between people and how she tenderly exposes queerness. This book is a fragile web, full of longing and ache and regret.”
- Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things
“Genevieve Hudson creates a new American erotics of longing and belonging, flush with want and desire, hope and home, translation and transformation.”
- Matt Bell, author of Scrapper
“Hudson goes right to a place where violence comes from―uncomfortably close to desire for magic, God, sex, whatever might actually heal us―and doesn’t turn away.”
- Kristin Dombek, author of The Selfishness of Others
“One of the finest―and weirdest!―first novels I’ve read in quite some long time.”
- Tom Bissell, author of Apostle and coauthor of The Disaster Artist