Boys of Alabama (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Genevieve Hudson

Liveright, 9781631496295, 272pp.

Publication Date: May 19, 2020

List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


O, The Oprah Magazine • "31 LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020"

Lit Hub • "Most Anticipated Books by LGBTQ Authors For the First Half of 2020"

Ms. Magazine • "Reads for the Rest of Us: Feminist Books Coming Out in 2020"

A coming-of-age novel told with magical realism, Boys of Alabama guides us through sixteen-year-old Max’s first year in America.

In this bewitching first novel, a sensitive teen, newly arrived in Alabama, falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power. While his German parents don’t know what to make of a South pining for the past, shy Max thrives in the thick heat. Taken in by rowdy football players, he learns how to catch a spiraling ball, point a gun, and hide his innermost secrets. When Max meets fishnet-wearing Pan in physics class, they embark on an all-consuming relationship: Max tells Pan about his supernatural powers, and Pan tells Max about the snake poison initiations of a local church. The boys, however, aren’t sure what is more frightening—embracing their true selves, or masking their true selves. Evoking Dorothy Allison, Lambda Award finalist Genevieve Hudson offers a nuanced portrait of masculinity, immigration, and the adolescent pressures that require total conformity—in short, a twenty-first-century South that would have been unimaginable to the late Harper Lee.

About the Author

Originally from Alabama, Genevieve Hudson earned an MFA from Portland State University and has received Fulbright, MacDowell, and Vermont Studio Center fellowships. She is the author of Pretend We Live Here: Stories, and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Praise For Boys of Alabama: A Novel

Boys of Alabama brilliantly reinvents the Southern Gothic... An absolutely magical novel.

— Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks

A gripping, uncanny, and queer exploration of being a boy in America, told with detail that dazzles and disturbs.
— Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir

Genevieve Hudson dismantles and spins a new category of fairy tale for us, one that’s equal parts dirt and splendor. A glinting, dark beauty. An incantation.
— T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girl

This novel is a love song to outsiders of all kinds, a queer love story about the ways we find to heal ourselves and each other, and proof that there can be magic amid the burdens of masculinity.
— Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me

Hudson is a tremendous writer and she is on the rise.
— Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things

Genevieve Hudson creates a new American erotics of longing and belonging, flush with want and desire, hope and home, translation and transformation.
— Matt Bell, author of Scrapper

Hudson goes right to a place where violence comes from—uncomfortably close to desire for magic, God, sex, whatever might actually heal us—and doesn’t turn away.
— Kristin Dombek, author of The Selfishness of Others

One of the finest—and weirdest!—first novels I’ve read in quite some long time.
— Tom Bissell, author of Apostle and coauthor of The Disaster Artist

Boys of Alabama perfectly captures the magic and inevitable heartache of young lust.

— Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light

[Depicts] a brand of Southern-fried masculinity that is immediately recognizable and startlingly fresh. This is an exquisite book.
— Nick White, author of How to Survive a Summer

Reminds us that behind so many of America’s most rigid beliefs lies the lonely human heart: twitchy, slippery, alive.
— Mikkel Rosengaard, author of The Invention of Ana