Jeffrey Luscombe, author of the award-winning novel, Shirts and Skins

"One of LGBT fictions's brightest new stars." 

Huffington Post


“Tightly written and keenly observed, this is an impressive debut from a writer we’re sure to hear more from.”

Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints

Praise for Shirts and Skins



"Luscombe revitalizes the over-romanticized ‘coming out’ novel by subjecting it to a cold shower of literary realism.” 

- Lambda Literary


“Tightly written and keenly observed, Shirts and Skins is an impressive debut from a writer we’re sure to hear more from.”
- Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints, Testament and Origin of Species

Shirts and Skins is an assured and compassionate novel. Jeffrey Luscombe understands the power of what isn't said and has created a work that sizzles with repressed sexuality and family tension. The characters are utterly believable. A satisfying and compelling work.”

- Lauren B. Davis, author of The Empty Room, Our Daily Bread  and The Radiant City


Shirts and Skins is a novel that will speak to anyone who has ever felt the inextricable bonds of the past, or felt the long shadow of family and home places as they strive towards the light of wholeness of identity and self-ownership. A first novel deeply felt and skillfully told, by a writer with insight, compassion, and talent to burn.”

- Michael Rowe, author of Enter, Night and Other Men's Sons


Shirts and Skins is authentic in its pathos, eloquent in its delivery, and well worth the read.”

- Kyle Thomas Smith, Edge


“It is not often that we get a new take on an old story, especially one that is as beautifully rendered as this. I am greatly impressed and anxious to see what else Luscombe can come up with.”

- Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen


Shirts and Skins is well-plotted and told with a craftsman’s touch, deeply felt characters and a gritty sense of place.”

- Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print


“Each story brilliantly captures a mood and paints a vivid picture… I’m not a huge fan of coming out stories, but this one I can highly recommend, because I feel it is more about overcoming a lifetime of bad choices to finally savor that sweet wine of triumph. It is about battling one’s culture and past, to find one’s identity. Shirts and Skins is a story that, I feel, everyone can relate to.”

- Alan Chin, Examiner.com


“An intriguing, at times disturbing, peek into the mind of a character who is only half aware of his own feelings. Luscombe is clearly after something different in this book: it is less about coming out than it is about going in. Josh’s repression is far more interesting than his liberation, which is a much more familiar story. In his adherence to the closet, as in his father’s depression-fueled withdrawal from the world, we see the tragedy of self-denial. Unlike his father, though, Josh eventually finds the strength to pull himself out of denial and embrace his truth. It’s a journey that still resonates for us all.”

- Lewis DeSimone, Lambda Literary


“[The] reiteration of Josh's conditioning toward privacy, or shame, adds a clever layer to the social commentary that is the driving force of the book. Luscombe gives a solid voice to an undersung narrative and an underappreciated town. Shirts and Skins invites its readers to dig a bit deeper.”
- Jonathan Valelly, Xtra!


“In the depths of despair, standing outside looking in, Josh touches the hearts of those who have lost their way to their dreams and aspirations. His inability to find himself finally leads to an epiphany of his hidden, yet acknowledged, desires.”

- American Library Association GLBTRT Newsletter


Read an interview with author Jeffrey Luscombe

Jeffrey Luscombe interviewed in Xtra!