From a young, gay environmentalist, a searing coming-of-age memoir set against the arid landscape of rural North Dakota, where homosexuality "seems akin to a ticking bomb."
"I am a child of the American West, a landscape so rich and wide that my culture trembles with terror before its power." So begins Taylor Brorby's Boys and Oil, a haunting, bracingly honest memoir about growing up gay amidst the harshness of rural North Dakota, "a place where there is no safety in a ravaged landscape of mining and fracking."
In visceral prose, Brorby recounts his upbringing in the coalfields; his adolescent infatuation with books; and how he felt intrinsically different from other boys. Now an environmentalist, Brorby uses the destruction of large swathes of the West as a metaphor for the terror he experienced as a youth. From an assault outside a bar in an oil boom town to a furtive romance, and from his awakening as an activist to his arrest at the Dakota Access Pipeline, Boys and Oil provides a startling portrait of an America that persists despite well-intentioned legal protections.
Originally from a small mountain valley in Utah, Greg D. Barnett now resides in Los Angeles, working as an actor, teacher, coach, and narrator. He has been telling stories from as early as he can remember and has a passion for inspiring the next generation of storytellers. He has a master's degree in elementary education and currently serves as the associate artistic director for the award-winning children's theater and education company The Story Pirates. His narration has been described as warm and youthful, like hearing a story from a trusted friend.