Nick White's debut novel, 'How to Survive a Summer,' hit shelves June 6
Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), will be releasing Nick White's debut novel on June 6, 2017. How to Survive a Summer centers around a gay-to-straight conversion camp in Mississippi and a man's reckoning with the trauma he faced there as a teen.
"Among the pleasures of the novel is its broad pageant of contemporary LGBT types, all against the background of the Midwest or the Deep South," writes Tim Murphy in a review for the Washington Post. "If Tennessee Williams's Suddenly Last Summer could be transposed to the 21st-century South, where queer liberation co-exists alongside the stubborn remains of fire and brimstone, it might read something like this juicy, moving hot mess of a novel."
A native of Mississippi, Nick White is Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University. He received his doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016. His short stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Guernica, The Hopkins Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. The short story collection Sweet and Low, based on his dissertation directed by Jonis Agee, is set to debut shortly after How to Survive a Summer.
About How to Survive a Summer
Grad student Will Dillard has largely buried memories of the summer he spent at a camp intended to "cure" homosexuality. But when he finds out a horror movie based on the camp is hitting theaters, he's forced to face his past—and his role in another camper's death. As he recounts the events surrounding his "failed rehabilitation," Will strikes out on an impromptu road trip back home to Mississippi, eventually returning to the abandoned campgrounds to solve the mysteries of that pivotal summer.
Praise for How to Survive a Summer
"Clear and moving, revealing White's talent in evoking the complexities of the rural South."
"A writer of enormous gifts, Nick White doesn't flinch. His sure-handed, beautifully-written debut novel How to Survive a Summer is very much a tale for these tumultuous times, and it's also a book that I expect will be re-read and savored for many years to come."
—Steve Yarbrough, author of The Realm of Last Chances
"How to Survive a Summer's Will Dillard had a childhood that would be right at home in the lush queer landscapes of an early Capote novel, and Nick White's remarkable debut handles that territory with humor and horror. Add to that the trauma of religiously-informed conversion therapy and a campy slasher movie, and you have a Southern Gothic coming-of-gayge that kept me speed-reading into the night."
—Emily Danforth, author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post