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Running With Scissors

Steven Gaines is Insightful and Hilarious in ‘One of These Things First’

in Nonfiction by

In the memoir One of These Things First, Steven Gaines, a gay 15-year-old boy from a conservative Jewish family in the 1960s, humorously shares a bizarre account of his teenage years in Brooklyn and a stint at Payne Whitney, a private mental institution in NYC. Steven recalls a multitude of childhood memories, some disturbing, many sexually charged (think Augusten Burroughs and Running With Scissors). Gaines’ memories include his fantasies about the lawnmower guy, agonizing time spent in his grandfather’s bra and girdle store where he spies on shoppers while hidden from view, befriending an aspiring actress at the empty theater in town, dealings with a claustrophobic cooped up in a small apartment with his parents, and the mean boys in the neighborhood who…

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