Andrew's Debut Memoir,
A young man’s
grief and romance
leads him to resiliently
embrace who he is.
When unexpected loss tore through the fabric of his family, Andrew Norlen unraveled. Confronted by immense death, he manufactured connections with men in every season, convinced that each new relationship was the answer to healing his unresolved grief from six unprecedented passings.
A mission to find a partner whom he could love, fix, crave, and boast about, became a way to hide from himself, his loss, and even his childhood abuse that sex now triggers.
But Andrew’s world was filled with more bravery and truth than he could fathom, the moment he finally defined his existence himself—instead of through the eyes of his mother, his queerness, his abuse, his string of lovers, and his crushing grief.
In Defining Brave, Norlen names each chapter after a different man, and names each man by the quality and lesson he gained during his time spent with each of them amidst his unending loss.
Growing up in the church Andrew’s idea of identity was always rooted in marriage, or the aspiration of marriage, but heterosexual marriage. Fighting to feel loved for the kind of person he wished to love was an exhausting battle—a reality for so many LGBTQIA+ young people today.
Andrew’s memoir bridges the gap between two groups. First, a generation of parents—just like his mother—presenting them with a book from someone just like their child. Secondly—and most importantly—Defining Brave will empower a young and queer man to listen to his own vulnerability and share his story, without apology.
I love the way he writes.
The imagery is so vivid and strong!
These words matter. Defining Brave will get people through hardships, you will triumph with Andrew—like I did.
Red Bank, NJ
We all have our journeys, but Andrew's self-awareness is so impressive, it makes the book special. The message is powerful and so transferable...readers will fall in love with Andrew!
His writing is a window that allowed the reader to see him
I hear his voice very clearly in this,which is not easy to do.
Jamaica Plain, MA
Life Changing. Relatable. While our grief may differ from one another, the reality is we all share our bodies natural responses to trauma and grief. This book could not have landed into my hands at a better time!
I was on the radio, Mom!
Listen to my full interview on Joy 94.9 all the way in AUSTRALIA!
God bless a zoom call! I got to swing through The Drive Thru w/ John-O @ Joy 94.9 radio in Melbourne, Australia and talk all things Defining Brave and my story with one of my dear friends! Check it out here! (my interview starts at 20:40!)
It's Okay Not to be Okay!
Watch my full interview/ Q & A with Sam Barlow High School students
I had the pleasure of kicking off this amazing series of interviews with high school students back in my hometown in Oregon. Covid-19 has rattled all of our lives and this was an amazing opportunity to share my own truth with these teens who are also deeply struggling.