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Product Description

Fourteen is this generation’s Holding the Man – a moving coming-of-age memoir about a young man’s search for identity and acceptance in the most unforgiving and hostile of places: high school. 

This is a story about my fourteenth year of life as a gay kid at an all-boys rugby-mad Catholic school in regional Queensland. It was a year in which I started to discover who I was, and deeply hated what was revealed. It was a year in which I had my first crush and first devastating heartbreak. It was a year of torment, bullying and betrayal – not just at the hands of my peers, but by adults who were meant to protect me.

And it was a year that almost ended tragically.

I found solace in writing and my budding journalism; in a close-knit group of friends, all growing up too quickly together; and in the fierce protection of family and a mother’s unconditional love. These were moments of light and hilarity that kept me going.

As much as Fourteen is a chronicle of the enormous struggle and adversity I endured, and the shocking consequences of it all, it’s also a tale of survival.

Because I did survive.

Author: Shannon Malloy

Trade Paperback  Published 1 April 2020  320 pages

"Fourteen is the factual account of one year in the life of a gay high-schooler in the small central Queensland town of Yeppoon. Journalist Shannon Molloy uses clear, concise language that makes his memoir easy to read, but also allows for both moments of levity and scenes that pack a heart-rending punch. Anyone who was a teen in the late 90s will enjoy reminiscing about early internet chat rooms, Smash Hits magazine, ‘Mambo Number Five’ and drinking casks of Fruity Lexia and inflating them to use as a pillow. But what really hits hard in Molloy’s memoir is the cruelty and violence perpetuated by fellow students and some teachers. The blatant homophobia in Yeppoon is shocking. Molloy is bullied and othered in a way that, considering the steps that have been taken towards equality, seems appalling compared to the present. Thankfully for Molloy, who went on to become a successful entertainment reporter in Sydney, it does indeed get better. For adults and older teenage readers Fourteen might serve as a tear-jerking but ultimately optimistic view of how things can change, both personally and in a broader societal sense." Books + Publishing

‘Teenagers should read this book, parents should read this book. Human beings, above all, should read this book.’ Rick Morton bestselling author of One Hundred Years of Dirt
‘I love this book … a beautifully written account of a young man struggling with his sexuality, overcoming shocking abuse and finding his way to pride.’ Peter FitzSimons, bestselling author
‘Shannon is unflinching in recounting the horror, but he is also funny, empathetic and, above all, full of courage.’ Bridie Jabour, author of The Way Things Should Be   
‘A slice of life as experienced quite recently in the “lucky country”.’ The Hon Michael Kirby, AC CMG

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