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In Thrall

Introduction by Colm Toibin
Paperback
$17.95 US
0"W x 0"H x 0"D   | 13 oz | 24 per carton
On sale Nov 19, 2024 | 312 Pages | 9781635902211
A touchstone novel of lesbian adolescence, set years before gay liberation.

“Dear Miss Maxfield … what I’m really afraid of is that I am a homosexual human being. I wish you were one too but I don’t think it’s possible there could be so many in one school, do you?—probably there is only one person who is homosexual in one place at one time and that one person (I am afraid) is me …”

First published in 1982 and set prior to Stonewall, Jane DeLynn’s In Thrall is a touchstone narrative of lesbian adolescence. Publishing Triangle called it one of the “best gay and lesbian novels of all time.” 

After sixteen-year-old Lynn writes her thirty-seven-year-old English teacher a letter, they embark on one of the funniest—and saddest—love affairs in fiction, shrouded in secrecy and guilt. Years before gay liberation, all Lynn knows about “lezbos” is that they wear their hair in crew cuts, buy suits like her father’s, and sprout mustaches over their upper lips. Trying to pass as “normal,” Lynn continues to neck with her boyfriend and make homophobic jokes with her friends. Feigning innocence with her parents, she checks the mirror for telltale signs of “perversion” each night. 

Profound, witty, poignant, and highly charged, In Thrall has been compared to The Catcher in the Rye and to Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story. “The single most wonderful quality of this novel,” the Los Angeles Times Book Review writes, “is its absolute credibility.”

This new edition includes a foreword by Irish author Colm Tóibín.
"All Lynn's phobias, aversions, preferences, and hang-ups make her exaggerated but real and terrifically funny. The great triumph of this novel is that DeLynn has captured the way adolescents felt, talked, and behaved during the early 1960s."
San Francisco Chronicle

"More humor, pain, honesty, and Weltschmerz than a dozen of her peers."
—Felice Picano, Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review
Jane DeLynn is the author of the widely acclaimed novels Leash, Real Estate, and Some Do. Her work has appeared in Paris Review, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, the New York Times, New York Observer, and Tikkun, and she lived in Saudi Arabia as a correspondent for Mirabella and Rolling Stone during the Gulf War. Her novel Real Estate was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Colm Tóibín is the author of eleven novels, including Long Island; The Magician, winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster; as well as two story collections and several books of criticism. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and has been named as the Laureate for Irish Fiction for 2022–2024 by the Arts Council of Ireland. Three times shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.

About

A touchstone novel of lesbian adolescence, set years before gay liberation.

“Dear Miss Maxfield … what I’m really afraid of is that I am a homosexual human being. I wish you were one too but I don’t think it’s possible there could be so many in one school, do you?—probably there is only one person who is homosexual in one place at one time and that one person (I am afraid) is me …”

First published in 1982 and set prior to Stonewall, Jane DeLynn’s In Thrall is a touchstone narrative of lesbian adolescence. Publishing Triangle called it one of the “best gay and lesbian novels of all time.” 

After sixteen-year-old Lynn writes her thirty-seven-year-old English teacher a letter, they embark on one of the funniest—and saddest—love affairs in fiction, shrouded in secrecy and guilt. Years before gay liberation, all Lynn knows about “lezbos” is that they wear their hair in crew cuts, buy suits like her father’s, and sprout mustaches over their upper lips. Trying to pass as “normal,” Lynn continues to neck with her boyfriend and make homophobic jokes with her friends. Feigning innocence with her parents, she checks the mirror for telltale signs of “perversion” each night. 

Profound, witty, poignant, and highly charged, In Thrall has been compared to The Catcher in the Rye and to Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story. “The single most wonderful quality of this novel,” the Los Angeles Times Book Review writes, “is its absolute credibility.”

This new edition includes a foreword by Irish author Colm Tóibín.

Praise

"All Lynn's phobias, aversions, preferences, and hang-ups make her exaggerated but real and terrifically funny. The great triumph of this novel is that DeLynn has captured the way adolescents felt, talked, and behaved during the early 1960s."
San Francisco Chronicle

"More humor, pain, honesty, and Weltschmerz than a dozen of her peers."
—Felice Picano, Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review

Author

Jane DeLynn is the author of the widely acclaimed novels Leash, Real Estate, and Some Do. Her work has appeared in Paris Review, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, the New York Times, New York Observer, and Tikkun, and she lived in Saudi Arabia as a correspondent for Mirabella and Rolling Stone during the Gulf War. Her novel Real Estate was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Colm Tóibín is the author of eleven novels, including Long Island; The Magician, winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster; as well as two story collections and several books of criticism. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and has been named as the Laureate for Irish Fiction for 2022–2024 by the Arts Council of Ireland. Three times shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.