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Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son

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On Kevin Jennings’ eighth birthday, his father suffers a heart attack and dies; the family scrapes by in trailer parks on Mom’s McDonald’s paychecks. The Baptist boy grows up ambivalent about his sexual orientation, an issue that trails him to a teaching stint at a Rhode Island prep school: When a student suggests forming a gay-straight alliance, he realizes the importance of eliminating homophobia in schools. Though it loses its stylistic charm after Jennings’ early childhood anecdotes, Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son distinguishes itself from the glut of me-too coming-out memoirs with equal parts humor and gravitas.

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