Rufus + Syd

Rufus + Syd

by Robin Lippincott, Julia Watts

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Vermillion, Georgia, is the small town that time forgot, or at least that’s how it feels to fifteen-year-old Rufus. As if being a scrawny ginger called “Matchstick” isn’t bad enough, Rufus is also gay, an artist, and the son of conservative religious fanatics. He doesn’t have a prayer of fitting in in the Bible Belt—at least not until he meets Syd, a spiky-haired girl in black eyeliner. Sick of being the adult her mother can’t seem to be, Syd hides behind a snarky attitude and takes refuge in classic movies, and eventually, her friendship with Rufus.

As isolated as they feel in Vermillion, Rufus and Syd soon discover they’re not as alone as they thought. Josephine, an aging free spirit who once ran a repertory cinema in Chicago, and Cole, a middle-aged gay man living with a brain injury as a result of a violent homophobic attack in his youth, offer help as the two teens struggle to discover who they are, what they want, and where they might belong. But not everyone in their town is so freethinking or open-minded.

When things become unbearable, where do two outspoken atheists turn? Trusting in each other and standing together is their only chance of making it through the opposition on all sides.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634763929
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: 05/05/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 204
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Robin Lippincott, like the main characters in the novel he and Julia Watts wrote together (Rufus + Syd), grew up in a rural hellhole, Central Florida in his case. The only good thing about his childhood was that at one point he had twenty-three cats, all of which had to live outside (his mother's rules). He escaped Florida as soon as he could and has lived in the Boston area ever since, where he is a walker in the city (and a bicycler, and a subway and bus rider), but where he has no cats (his partner is allergic). Robin is so proud of his most recent book, Blue Territory: A Meditation on the Life and Art of Joan Mitchell. He has also published three novels and a short story collection. He has received multiple fellowships to Yaddo (the artists' colony), as well as a fellowship to The MacDowell Colony. He teaches in the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at Spalding University.


Julia Watts, like her character Syd, is a small-town southeastern Kentucky girl. Unlike Syd, however, Julia grew up with a pair of great, supportive parents who helped her believe in herself even when she felt like she didn't belong. Writing has always been Julia's favorite thing, with reading as a close second, which is which is why she writes and buys books at an alarming rate. She is the author of numerous novels for both young adults and "old adults," including the YA novels Finding H.F., which won the 2002 Lambda Literary Award in the Children's/Young Adult category, and Secret City, which was a 2013 Lambda Literary Award finalist and Golden Crown Literary Award winner. Julia holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, where she worked with Robin Lippincott, and an MA in English from the University of Louisville. She teaches at South College at in Murray State University's low-residency MFA in Writing program. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her family, four cats, and one spoiled pug.

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