James Brandon’s Debut Novel About A Gay Boy In 1970s St. Louis Still Resonates Today

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“Soul Train” was on TV. Groovy teachers were teaching “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” to the high school English classes. David Bowie stopped by Kiel Auditorium to promote a little album called “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” Was there a more idyllic time to be a teenager than Creve Coeur in the early 1970s? For Jonathan, the protagonist of James Brandon’s new young adult novel “Ziggy, Stardust & Me,” it isn’t quite that simple. Sure, the music is incredible. But Jonathan is gay. And in St. Louis in 1973, that means intense and even painful therapy.

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