This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
John Schwartz's memoir Oddly Normal: One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His Sexuality is the stirring and deeply personal account of how Schwartz and his wife Jeanne have fought for the well-being of their gay son, Joseph. Rather than a political statement on gay rights, Schwartz’s memoir is an appeal to parents, a way of showing both the hardship and rewards of parenting a child who is different in any way. Breathtakingly honest, Schwartz tells his son's story of learning disability and social discomfort, as well as his underlying struggle with his growing awareness of his orientation, all of which came to a terrifying head when Joseph attempted to overdose on pills at the age of 13 after coming out to his classmates. Schwartz invites the reader to share in the struggles and triumphs of raising Joseph, including everything from fighting diagnoses of autism and Asperger's to signing their son up for a gay-supportive summer camp. Throughout Oddly Normal, Schwartz constantly reiterates his message to other parents, like a steady heartbeat: "It's our job to love our little Martians, whatever it is that makes them different." A native Texan and UT Law alum, Schwartz is a national correspondent for the New York Times, and the author of Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall at All. The son of former Galveston Senator “Babe” Schwartz, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and three children.
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