From Publishers Weekly
Based on a news article written for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Mournian's exquisitely written and impossibly sad fiction debut charts America's latest version of the Underground Railroad. When 15-year-old Ahmed inadvertently outs himself to his parents, they take him to a residential treatment center in the Nevada desert, Serenity Ridge, where he's tortured, molested, and put through a "straight" rehabilitation program. After 11 months, Ahmed manages to escape to a safe house for runaway gay teens in San Francisco, where he meets a slew of other kids like himself, all with their own stories to tell, most just as traumatizing as his own or worse. But life inside the safe house is never entirely safe, as Ahmed, now known as Ben, learns to his sorrow just as he begins to let his guard down. Regardless of their sexual orientation, readers will wait with baited breath to the end, almost suffocating on the palpable sense of fear and claustrophobia that permeates this heartbreaking story. (Feb.)
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"Mournian's exquisitely written and impossibly sad fiction debut charts America's latest version of the Underground Railroad."
Hidden was terrifying, triggering and without a doubt one of the best novels I've read in very long time ... A stunning debut novel."
- LAMBDA Literary Review
"If you put The Diary of Anne Frank and Francesca Lea Block's Weetzie Bat into a blender and added a bit of spice, you'd get Hidden."
- American Library Association
"Mournian evokes the claustrophobia of a confined life, the terror of an uncertain future and the heartbreaking reality of family rejection with brilliant, ferocious insight in this one-of-a-kind debut."
- Richard La Bonte, Book Marks
"Hidden" is an easy book to get caught up in. Author Tomas Mournian switches gears by adding a tiniest amount of malevolence to the discomfort of a dozen varied personalities packed in a small area for an unspecified time. This only ratchets up the tension, making "Hidden" a heart-pounder. It's only a book. Those are the words you'll want to remember while reading this pulse-racing novel."
- Washington Blade"In this bold, heart-wrenching coming-of-age novel, 15-year-old Ahmed confines the truth about his homosexuality to the pages of his notebook. Mournian vividly depicts the toll of Ahmed's sexual repression, "I wasn't just an outsider, I was an outsider among outsiders. Alone."
- More Magazine
More About the Author
read Huffington Post article, "Facing the Truth about #Reparative Therapy & #America'sWar on #Gay-Teens" http://huff.to/Jvj8RM
Journalist, Novelist, & Social Justice Activist, Tomas Mournian has been published by Marie Claire, Los Angeles, InStyle, and Huffington Post. For the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Tomas Mournian investigated and wrote 'Hiding Out', breaking the news story about gay teens who escaped from reparative-therapy "schools" and gay-to-straight bootcamps into an underground network of San Francisco safehouses. 'Hiding Out' won the Peninsula Press Club, East Bay Press Club and a GLAAD Media award. "Hiding Out" (watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v8C2eexJ40), a documentary based on the article and produced by Tomas Mournian, was shown by George Michael during Equality Rocks. A member of PEN/USA, Tomas Mournian rewrote 'hidden' while in residency at Yaddo (where he was awarded the prestigious Eli Cantor Chair), studied at UC Berkeley and lives in Los Angeles. He can usually be found somewhere in the sun; with a book, coffee, yoga mat, or chocolate milkshake in hand.