25-year-old Abigail Tarttelin’s much anticipated U.S. debut novel, GOLDEN BOY
(Atria Books; turns the conventional coming-of-age novel on its
ear with a poignant, thought-provoking exploration of the turbulent private life of an
intersex teen. As its often startling, multi-voiced narrative unfolds, the novel examines
the complex relationships and conflicts that shape the everyday reality of Max Walker,
an attractive, intelligent, athletic, and sensitive young man on the cusp of adulthood,
whose ambiguous gender has been safely guarded by his parents—until unforeseen
events threaten to expose his secret.
GOLDEN BOY opens with an unspeakable act of violation that sets in motion
Max’s heretofore unfathomable dilemma. The fallout of this event is seen through the
eyes of six narrators: Max himself; his mother, Karen, a successful lawyer unhappy navigating the
vagaries of an imperfect world; Max’s precocious ten-year-old brother, Daniel; his father Steve, a
well-known prosecutor running for election to parliament; Sylvie, the unconventional girl Max loves;
and Archie, the ethnically Indian doctor who helps Max in his time of greatest need. Each lends a
distinctive perspective to the extraordinary events. Abigail Tarttelin grew up in North East England.
At sixteen she trained with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and the New York Film
Academy. Alongside her work as a screen actress, for which she has been profiled as a One To
Watch, she wrote debut novel, Flick, published in the UK in 2011.
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