Buy My Book

Shirts and Skins

the award-winning novel by Jeffrey Luscombe

Cover – Shirts and Skins by Jeffrey Luscombe

“One of LGBT fictions’s brightest new stars.” — Huffington Post

“Luscombe revitalizes the over-romanticized ‘coming out’ novel by subjecting it to a cold shower of literary realism.” — Lambda Literarymbda Literary

“A remarkable debut novel from Jeffrey Luscombe—a compelling series of linked stories of a young man’s coming-out, coming-of-age, and coming-to-terms with his family and fate.”

Josh Moore lives with his family on the ‘wrong side’ of Hamilton, a gritty industrial city in southwestern Ontario. As a young boy, Josh plots an escape for a better life far from the steel mills that lined the bay. But fate has other plans and Josh discovers his adult life in Toronto is just as fraught with as many insecurities and missteps as his youth and he soon learns that no matter how far away he might run, he will never be able to leave his hometown behind.

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Praise for Shirts and Skins by Jeffrey Luscombe

“Tightly written and keenly observed, Shirts and Skins is an impressive debut from a writer we’re sure to hear more from.”

—Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints, Testament, and The Origin of Species

 “Shirts and Skins is an assured and compassionate novel. Jeffrey Luscombe understands the power of what isn’t said and has created a work that sizzles with repressed sexuality and family tension. The characters are utterly believable. A satisfying and compelling work.”

—Lauren B. Davis, author of Our Daily Bread, The Radiant City and The Stubborn Season

Shirts and Skins is a novel that will speak to anyone who has ever felt the inextricable bonds of the past, or felt the long shadow of family and home places as they strive towards the light of wholeness of identity and self-ownership. A first novel deeply felt and skillfully told, by a writer with insight, compassion, and talent to burn.”

—Michael Rowe, author of Enter, Night and Other Men’s Sons

Shirts and Skins is authentic in its pathos, eloquent in its delivery, and well worth the read.”

—Kyle Thomas Smith, Edge (click here to see full review)

“Aside from being written in beautiful prose there is something very special here that I cannot really define. It is something of a combination of familial tension and repression that bring us some beautifully drawn characters… Luscombe has the ability to take us inside his characters and shows us that sometimes what is not uttered can be quite powerful and even more powerful than that which is verbalized. It takes a writer who possesses insight and compassion to be able to relate this to us. It is hard to believe that this is a first novel since it is not only well written but extremely intelligent.”

—Amos Lassen (click here to see full review)

“An intriguing, at times disturbing, peek into the mind of a character who is only half aware of his own feelings. Luscombe is clearly after something different in this book: it is less about coming out than it is about going in. Josh’s repression is far more interesting than his liberation, which is a much more familiar story. In his adherence to the closet, as in his father’s depression-fueled withdrawal from the world, we see the tragedy of self-denial. Unlike his father, though, Josh eventually finds the strength to pull himself out of denial and embrace his truth. It’s a journey that still resonates for us all.”

—Lewis DeSimone, Lambda Literary

“[The] reiteration of Josh’s conditioning toward privacy, or shame, adds a clever layer to the social commentary that is the driving force of the book. Luscombe gives a solid voice to an undersung narrative and an underappreciated town. Shirts and Skins invites its readers to dig a bit deeper.”
—Jonathan Valelly, Xtra!

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