Oddly Normal: One Familys Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality Audiobook, by John Schwartz Play Audiobook Sample

Oddly Normal: One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality Audiobook

Oddly Normal: One Familys Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality Audiobook, by John Schwartz Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: John Schwartz, Joseph Schwartz Publisher: Brilliance Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 4.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: November 2012 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781469257150

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

25:34 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

03:44 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

16:59 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by John Schwartz: > View All...

Publisher Description

Three years ago, John Schwartz, a national correspondent for The New York Times, got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: His thirteen-year-old son, Joe, was in the hospital following a suicide attempt. Mustering the courage to come out to his classmates, Joe had delivered a tirade about homophobic and sexist attitudes that was greeted with unease and confusion by his fellow students. Hours later, he took an overdose of pills.

After a couple of weeks in the hospital and in the locked ward of a psychiatric treatment center, Joe returned to his family. As he recovered, his parents were dismayed by his school’s inability to address—or reluctance to deal with—Joe’s needs. Determined to help their son feel more comfortable in his own skin, Schwartz and his wife, Jeanne, launched their own search for services and groups that could help Joe know he wasn’t alone.

In Oddly Normal, Schwartz writes of his family’s struggles within a culture that is changing fast—but not fast enough. Interweaving his narrative with contextual chapters on psychology, law, and common questions, Schwartz shares crucial lessons about helping gay kids learn how to cope in a potentially hostile world. From buying rhinestone-studded toddler shoes to creating a “Joseph manual” for Joe’s teachers; from finding a hairdresser who stocks purple dye to fighting erroneous personality disorder diagnoses, Oddly Normal offers a deeply personal look into one boy’s growing up.

Joe, far happier today than he was three years ago, collaborated on this work.

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“John Schwartz and Jeanne Mixon are the heroes of Oddly Normal.  Still, the star of the book is Joe.  It’s impossible not to fall in love with a kid who, even amid his torment, displays such droll humor and fierce intelligence.”

— New York Times Book Review 


  • “A funny, touching and indispensable book. Moving as well as buoyant, it will give parents of gay children a great deal of hope.”

    — Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story
  • “Schwartz writes a poignant and well-documented account of what it meant to be a father who had tried all he could to make his son feel comfortable, but still came terrifyingly close to losing him.”

    — Daily Texan
  • “A moving account of a family’s journey to raise and protect their gay son…Equally humorous and heartrending, this memoir reveals just what it takes to raise children who are different in a world still resistant.”

    — Publishers Weekly


  • One of the 2012 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

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About John Schwartz

John Schwartz is a national correspondent with the New York Times, where he covers law, science, technology, business and a broad range of other topics. Prior to that, he worked at the Washington Post and Newsweek and his writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, GQ, Texas Monthly, and other publications. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas Law School. He currently lives in New Jersey with his college sweetheart, Jeanne Mixon. They have three children and two difficult cats.