Winner of the 2004 Alex Award from the American Library Association

Reviews

         
   

Editorial Reviews

Leave Myself Behind

"Ever since J.D. Salinger wrote The Catcher in the Rye, authors have been hoping to create the next Holden Caulfield and critics have hoped to crown a character with that distinction. The latest temptation for comparison is surely Leave Myself Behind, a debut by Bart Yates. Yates' main character and narrator, Noah York, has Caulfield-style teenage authenticity. Noah's voice is more than just honest or original; it's real. The tone of his observations will ring true for anyone who has been around teenagers. This isn't just a novel about a boy dealing with discrimination and fighting for acceptance. Nor is Noah a character for whom sexual orientation is the only developed personality trait. We don't see Noah as simply a gay teen or fatherless child. We see him as a character dealing with life. That's what makes Leave Myself Behind so great." --The Plain Dealer


"Noah York is seventeen, but don't let his age fool you. Noah's blunt, funny and dead-on narrative will lend this memorable tale of young-but-cynical love a fresh resonance with readers of all ages, gay or straight, male or female. A gripping tale of buried secrets and emerging attractions, but more than that, a story of the familial ties that bind as they grow stronger and pull apart." -- Brian Malloy, author of The Year of Ice


"With Leave Myself Behind, Bart Yates gives us both the laugh-out-loud and refreshingly sincere coming-of-age story we've been missing all these years." --Instinct


"A dazzlingly brilliant debut novel...Bart Yates, where have you been hiding? Leave Myself Behind is not only well written, it is at once hilariously comic, disturbingly sad, achingly profound, and just plain good reading! Some novels just get to you and this is one. Bart Yates, please write another and another. You have so much innate talent and gift for storytelling that it is simply mind boggling! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED reading for just about everyone who loves good books." --The Gay Read


"Tart-tongued and appealing, young Noah York is living through the worst and best three months of his life. In Bart Yates' gripping debut novel, Noah spins a tale that is by turns refreshingly strange and poignantly familiar. What he discovers--about the haunted and haunting past, the always vexed relations between parents and children, the bittersweet mysteries of love--will shock and surprise and move you." --Paul Russell, author of War Against The Animals


"Yates effectively captures the honest, sometimes silly, often tender interactions between his fragile characters." -- Booklist


"The coming-out novel is a staple of queer fiction debuts. Some would even say it's an overworked cliché`. But Leave Myself Behind is an effervescently effective addition to the genre - Yates, in his first novel, has injected juicy originality into the coming-of-age fable. At its smart and smart-ass center is impudently precocious Noah...Yates crams his richly nuanced plot with a lot of issues but he bundles it all together with as sure touch for deciphering teen angst, exploring adolescent sex and detailing life on the confusing cusp of growing up." --The Front Page (Raleigh, North Carolina)


"It's not an easy task these days to come up with a fresh and original gay coming-of-age and coming-out story (which are usually the same thing). Give Bart Yates credit; he takes the challenge and relies on other narrative pulls to launch his tale of how his narrator, 17-year-old Noah York, a smart and smart-alecky artist with Holden Caulfield-like skepticism about the world, comes to self-knowledge about his own sexuality, society's (especially his high school's) way of dealing with it when it becomes a public issue, and most importantly, how his love for the boy next door develops. Yates is an author to watch and earns an "A"." --Frontiers


"The voice of Noah York is beguiling, impudent and wise. Noah's honesty made me remember how it feels to be seventeen when only humor and friendship can save you." -- Elizabeth Stuckey-French, author of Mermaids on the Moon


"The writing is fresh and the stories intriguing." -- Echo Magazine


"Bart Yates has written a compelling tale about the obsessions and mysteries of the heart. A risk-taking, impressive debut that will keep readers page-turning from start to finish." --William J. Mann, author of Where The Boys Are --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

The Brothers Bishop

"...smoothly written, well-paced exploration of issues of fathers and sons, forgiveness and acceptance." Booklist

"In his assured debut, Leave Myself Behind, Bart Yates wrung bittersweet romance and wry humor out of brutal fag-bashing and family secrets. His sad, witty follow-up, The Brothers Bishop, begins like a snappy beach read, but soon treads equally dark thematic waters. [Yates]... finds hard-won joy in hot-button issues. His compelling debut novel was no fluke. Brian Dillard, Out.com

Bart Yates combines the tender and the toe-curling in a novel about two gay brothers reuniting at the old family home -- in the company of a half-crazed clutch of friends....This is a surefire recipe for comedy, but there are undercurrents of tragedy and emotional scarring at work that take the story to disturbing places. Yates puts his novel
together like a one-two punch....Nathan, ever the reluctant host, watches as his guests torment each other -- and him -- and take out
their spleen on his furnishings. But it's Tommy, with his cheeky optimism and his inability to think his actions through, who yanks events into nightmare territory -- after which there's no turning back. .....you can't put it down -- Kilian Melloy, edgeboston.com