This Terrible True Thing : A Visual Novel

Jenny Laden

Gail Shalan (Narrator)

09-05-23

11hrs 21min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Coming-of-Age

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Play Audio Sample

09-05-23

11hrs 21min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Coming-of-Age

Description

“A generous-spirited, beautifully human, elegiac first novel of love, family, loss, and the transformative power of art that will crack open your heart and make new room inside. I wish I’d had this book years ago.”   Libba Bray, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A Philadelphia Inquirer Pick of 11 Best Books of the Month
A Publishers Weekly Pick for Fall
A BookRiot Pick of Recent YA Books Set in the 1990s
A Queer Bookdom Blog Pick of the Month
A Reads Rainbow Pick of New Releases for Fall

In this heartbreaking multimedia debut—filled with drawings, poems, and journal entries—author Jenny Laden draws on her own experience to create a story of grief and transcendence, perfect for fans of Francesca Zappia and Jennifer Niven.

Danielle Silver is a Philadelphia high school senior at the dawn of the ’90s. Ever since her parents split up, she has known her father was gay, but she never expected to be hit with the bombshell that he is HIV positive. As he sickens, and AIDS starts to claim the lives of his friends, Danielle searches for silver linings while trying to balance paralyzing fear, grief, her social life, and schoolwork—capturing all the feelings as adolescence and some hard facts collide.

Praise

“A generous-spirited, beautifully human, elegiac first novel of love, family, loss, and the transformative power of art that will crack open your heart and make new room inside. I wish I’d had this book years ago.”   Libba Bray, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A 90s nostalgia trip that, for once, doesn’t ignore the AIDS epidemic, but rather tackles it head on with heart and dignity, This Terrible True Thing authentically portrays the tension of living in two worlds—neither of which you feel you fully belong in…Witty, earnest, educational, and deeply cathartic all at once.”  Jackson Bird, writer, performer, and LGBTQ+ advocate

“With crisp writing, elegant illustrations, and characters who just burst with life and authenticity, Jenny Laden delivers a moving, finely crafted story that immerses you into the soul-wrenching early years of the AIDS epidemic. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll love this triumph of a book.” Neal Bascomb, New York Times bestselling author of The Grand Escape

“This Terrible True Thing is a brilliant blow-by-blow about what it means to love someone who adores you, and then lose them right when you need them the most. Art-love suffuses every page. There are many passages I wish I could have written…Jenny Laden’s witty voice and sharp powers of observation make for a unique, fresh, and important debut.” Justin Evans, acclaimed author of A Good and Happy Child

“In This Terrible True Thing, Jenny captures the confusion and sadness of the dark days of AIDS, when the closet was still the norm and those who feared judgment were bound by secrecy. Through her intimate voice and illustrations, she powerfully conveys the experience of being a teenager caught between worlds: the straight world and the queer world, childhood and adulthood, secure love and incomprehensible loss. The novel is also about a young woman’s political awakening and what it means to be an artist not just of the world but in the world. This is a tender story, a beautiful story. I loved reading it.” Alysia Abbott, author of Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father

“A new visual novel set in the Philly area turns the author’s own tragedy into a tale of redemption…Laden has crafted an emotionally rich portrait of grief against a backdrop of change.” R. Eric Thomas, bestselling author of Here for It

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Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Sep 4, 2023
Release Date September 5, 2023
Release Date Machine 1693872000
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Blackstone Publishing
Categories Teen & Young Adult, History & Culture, LGBTQ+, Literature & Fiction
Author Bio
Jenny Laden

Jenny Laden was born in Philadelphia and began painting at the age of nine. She studied art and art history at Barnard College and received her master’s degree in fine art from New York University. She has exhibited in New York; Chicago; Washington, DC; McClean; Richmond; Miami; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and Berlin, and had work in multiple publications. After her father’s death in 1996, she became an HIV/AIDS educator in New York City and worked with C.O.L.A.G.E. (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

Narrator Bio

Overview

A Philadelphia Inquirer Pick of 11 Best Books of the Month
A Publishers Weekly Pick for Fall
A BookRiot Pick of Recent YA Books Set in the 1990s
A Queer Bookdom Blog Pick of the Month
A Reads Rainbow Pick of New Releases for Fall

In this heartbreaking multimedia debut—filled with drawings, poems, and journal entries—author Jenny Laden draws on her own experience to create a story of grief and transcendence, perfect for fans of Francesca Zappia and Jennifer Niven.

Danielle Silver is a Philadelphia high school senior at the dawn of the ’90s. Ever since her parents split up, she has known her father was gay, but she never expected to be hit with the bombshell that he is HIV positive. As he sickens, and AIDS starts to claim the lives of his friends, Danielle searches for silver linings while trying to balance paralyzing fear, grief, her social life, and schoolwork—capturing all the feelings as adolescence and some hard facts collide.