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Fiction General

The Child

by (author) Sarah Schulman

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2008
General, Gay, Lesbian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2008
    List Price

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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.

About the author

Sarah Schulman is the author of sixteen books: the novels The Mere Future, The Child, Rat Bohemia, Shimmer, Empathy, After Delores, People In Trouble, Girls Visions and Everything, and The Sophie Horowitz Story, the nonfiction works The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness To a Lost Imagination, Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS and the Marketing of Gay America and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years, and the plays Mercy and Carson McCullers. She is co-author with Cheryl Dunye of the movies The Owls and Mommy is Coming, and co-producer with Jim Hubbard of the feature United in Anger: A History of ACT UP. She is co-director of the ACT UP Oral History Project .

Her awards include the 2009 Kessler Award for "Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies" from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and two American Library Association Book Awards, and she was a Finalist for the Prix de Rome. She lives in New York, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at City University of New York (College of Staten Island) and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU.
Author photograph by Nayland Blake.

Sarah Schulman's profile page


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

Editorial Reviews

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

LA Weekly

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

Lambda Book Report

This novel packs a lot of insight into its 225 pages.... No matter how strongly you feel about the subject of pedophilia, The Child will leave you with something else to consider.
?OutFront Colorado

OutFront Colorado

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


Sarah Schulman is one of our most articulate observers.


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

Publishers Weekly

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

Xtra! West

Other titles by Sarah Schulman