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The Child

The Child

By Sarah Schulman
Categories: LGBTQ+, Gay Literature, Fiction, Lesbian Literature
Paperback : 9781551522432, 232 pages, 2008
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Shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award and the Ferro-Grumley Women's Fiction Award

The Child is the eleventh and perhaps most controversial book by acclaimed lesbian writer Sarah Schulman, available for the first time in paperback. This novel explores the parameters of queer teen sexuality against a backdrop of hysteria and sanctioned homophobia.

Stew is a fifteen-year-old boy who goes online looking for an older man to have sex with. But when his older boyfriend is arrested in an Internet pedophilia sting, his life is exposed to his family and town. Devastated by these revelations and left to fend for himself, he ends up committing murder.

Brazen and daring in its themes, The Child is a powerful indictment of sex panic in America, and a plaintive meditation on isolation and desire.


  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award 2008
  • Short-listed, Ferro-Grumley Women's Fiction Award 2008


Sarah Schulman is one of our most articulate observers. -Advocate

A timely, poignant and unencumbered novel that grapples with the age of consent. -Xtra! West

An important work of American literature. That this is probably not how the book will be handled, reviewed, shelved, sold and read makes the novel all the more necessary and true. -Lambda Book Report

Schulman crafts a piercing investigation into desire, mores, and the law. -Publishers Weekly

In true Schulman form, the book has a gleaming intelligence and chilled anger. It's beautifully blunt and plainspoken. -LA Weekly

This novel reveals Schulman's gift at portraying people often misunderstood or undervalued in society. -OutWords (Winnipeg)