Bookshelf: Turning LGBT History Into Literature
BY David Artavia
May 31 2013 4:00 AM ET
The Sin Warriors by Julian E. Farris (Lethe Press, $15)
In 1960s Florida, 300 students, public school teachers, and deans were expelled or fired under the Florida Legislative Investigative Committee for admitting or being suspected to be gay. Through a fictional treatment of these real-life events, Farris offers a heartfelt tale told from the view of the victims and the persecutors in this contemporary witch hunt.
Farris's love for his characters is evident as he forces the reader to look deep inside their souls, from the evil political leader Billy Sloat, who organizes the secret committee to rid Florida schools of homosexuals, to the college freshman David Ashton, who falls victim to Sloat's committee. Farris creates an intimate relationship with his characters that allows us to better understand their intentions. His style is both original and effortless. The book is not only a compeling read, but it gives insight into a part of American history that we often forget or are too scared to remember. (Lethe Press)