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Set in Little Falls, New Jersey in 1993, PINS weaves the classic story of a Catholic saint into a compelling modern life -and near-death- account of Joey Nicci, a fifteen-year-old Italian-American wrestler.
After befriending Donald "Dink" Kohrs, Joey and his new posse get involved in pranks and partying that eventually get out of control, resulting in the death of a maligned fellow teammate.
The ensuing legal battle and media frenzy alter Joey's life and his self- perception as a gay teenager while shattering his fragile love for fellow teammate Dink. Like his patron saint, his battle against his own teammates forces him to suffer for his beliefs. His survival becomes a literary miracle.
A compelling story of a loving yet confused family, coaches and teachers struggling with multiple issues of violence and homophobia amid the clan-like world of teenage athletes, PINS brings together elements now frighteningly common in the media; bullying jocks, assaults on weaker students, faculty and families unwittingly allowing such behavior
288 pages, Paperback
First published October 1, 1999
“Fully captures the reader ... a descriptive writer of the Ernest Hemingway model; terse, stripped down, and to the point.” – Lambda Book Report
“Provenzano has a swift and flexible style that cuts against sentiment and reveals, in moments of grace, something like true feeling. He’s also funny. He has an ear for teenage banter, and he’s tartly lyrical about Jersey towns, Italian families and homemade mix tapes with titles like GRAPPLE and AURGH. Most urgent, he shows how gay bashing is still an outlet for kids who grew up in the so-called gay ‘90s.” – The Advocate
“The author brings evident personal knowledge and a crisp, uncluttered prose style to this coming-out saga.” – East Bay Express
“A brilliant piece of fiction… The plot is very complex with many layers, each well-developed and passionately expressed. No sensitive reader will make it to the end without giggling, anxiety, joy and tears.” – Gay People’s Chronicle