Winner of the City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award, Invisible Boys is a confronting work of young adult fiction tackling the themes of homosexuality, masculinity, anger and suicide.
Set in regional Western Australia, the novel follows three sixteen-year-old boys who are coming to terms with their homosexuality in a town where it is invisible.
Invisible Boys is written by Holden Sheppard, who hails from Geraldton, 424 kilometres north of Perth. The book was inspired in part by Sheppard’s own experiences of growing up gay in country Western Australia.
“I wrote this novel for anyone who has struggled, or still is. I want the pain of these characters to be visible to the world,” he said.
“I want the world to understand that boys and men suffer, and for gay boys in particular, even in 2018, this struggle can feel like the end of the world, but it isn’t.”
The book has received strong reviews, with Junior Books+Publishing saying it “brings to mind books like Puberty Blues and the work of Tim Winton”.
Author Carolyn Gilpin described it as: “Muscular, gritty, raw, scathing and yet pleading for understanding … Such a gripping read.”
Sheppard is currently on an Invisible Boys book tour of in-store signings and speaking dates around Australia.
The tour saw him sign copies of Invisible Boys at LGBT+ bookstore The Bookshop Darlinghurst in Sydney on 4 October. After the first run sold out, Sheppard returned to sign more copies last week.
At time of writing, The Bookshop had a limited number of copies signed available for purchase in store at 207 Oxford St, Darlinghurst or online at www.thebookshop.com.au.
Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard is published by Fremantle Press.