Announcing Lee Mandelo’s Debut Novel, a Simmering Southern Gothic About Lost Friends and Fast Cars

One-third The Sound and the Fury, one-third The Fast and the Furious, and one-third The Secret History, Lee Mandelo’s debut novel Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that will be published by Tor.com Publishing in September 2021!

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six month later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.

From the author:

I’m over the moon, delighted, startled, and then some to have the chance to work with the team at Tor.com for the publication of my first novel. I started the book in 2016, finished a rough draft in 2018, and received the offer two years almost to the date later—feels like fate! The books coming from this imprint over the past while have been hitting it out of the park, and I’m super excited to join that line-up.

Summer Sons comes out of a whole mess of significant personal experiences for me, as a masculine-identifying queer born and raised in Kentucky. While all novels are, of course, super personal to their authors, I can’t express how astounding it feels to have the chance to share this particular spooky story with the world—exploring some of those issues of masculinity, queerness, the foibles of splitting identities between an Appalachian-South upbringing… and, say, the world of academia. I’m so ready to see how folks respond.

Lee Mandelo is a writer, critic, and occasional editor whose fields of interest include speculative and queer fiction, especially when the two coincide. They have been a past nominee for various awards including the Nebula, Lambda, and Hugo; their work can be found in magazines such as Tor.com, Uncanny Magazine, Clarkesworld, and Nightmare. Aside from a brief stint overseas learning to speak Scouse, Lee has spent their life ranging across Kentucky, currently living in Lexington and pursuing a PhD at the University of Kentucky.

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