"The Struggle for Sexual Identity."
(PRWEB) November 09, 2014
Doug Howery’s novel, The Grass Sweeper God, has reached #1 on Amazon.com. The 263-page fictional historical account available in paperback and e-book versions, maintains a focus on God-ordained heterosexual identity. It follows the story of Smiley Hanlon in the 1950s Virginia coal miners town of Solitude. Smiley is different from the rest, called a “freak” by many. His life reaches bottom after being cast the lead role of Dorothy in a modified Wizard of Oz school production. Protected by his best friend Lee Moore, he is a target and the 16 year old is brutally attacked by his own father.
The attack in 1950 is kept a secret by the two boys. They are banished due to their sexual identity. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in the Bible belt town and Smiley and Lee begin a 19 year quest to find their place. An effeminate man seemingly tethered to the wrong body, Smiley emerges in a different world in 1969 as Permelia Corn and her friend, Lee. They are leaders of a gay revolution known as The Stonewall Riots of 1969.
It is then in the novel they realize their place in life is back to the start. While 19 years have passed, the beliefs of a remote Appalachian coal mining town are still deeply rooted. The Grass Sweeper God is a fictional account based on a psychology dictating Smiley and Lee’s sexual identity is a sickness. Smiley is abandoned by his mother as a child, raised by his aunt, and by her macho abusive husband.
Author Doug Howery penned the novel with insight into his own struggle for sexual identity and personal tragedy. His mother committed suicide in 1982, blaming her two sons’ sexual identity in a letter and declaring herself a martyr for intolerance and social bigotry. She referred to her own sons as “Gutter Rats that Could Rot in Hell” and represents the hate and mistrust that have plagued society.
The novel focuses on major social issues of the past and present. It also touches on present day headlines such as the rejection of Sunnie Kahle from a Lynchburg, Virginia Christian school, because her dress and behavior didn’t match her “God-ordained identity”.
About Doug Howery
Doug Howery is an author based in Bassett, Virginia. Originally from Tazewell, VA, Howery has written and published a fact-based fiction novel, The Grass Sweeper God. The book tackles adversities and social psychologies fought by one family and the nation as a whole.