Michael O'Laughlin


Patrick Nathan, Kaethe Schwehn

Feb. 27
6 p.m.

Author Patrick Nathan turns the adolescent mind inside out in his debut novel, Some Hell. The story starts with what appears to be the suicide of a father in suburban Minnesota. His teen son, Colin, struggles with his role in his father’s death while simultaneously coming to grips with the realization that he’s gay. A predatory teacher, rejection from his best friend, depression, and shame create a toxic cocktail that cloud Colin’s worldview. With the help of his estranged grandfather, he inches toward self-acceptance. The rest of the family doesn’t cope so well. Colin’s siblings scatter, and contact among them is sparse. Colin’s mother, Diane, enters therapy, but spends her sessions entertaining impure thoughts about her shrink. Ultimately, the death and its aftermath force Colin and Diane to confront emotions that they couldn’t—or wouldn’t—acknowledge before. Some Hell has already garnered buzz for its edgy honesty, including several starred reviews and mentions on “most anticipated” lists in Esquire and Bustle. Nathan launches the book, out from Graywolf Press, with fellow novelist Kaethe Schwehn on Tuesday night at Black Dog Café.