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Crawling Through Thorns

By John Sam Jones

Crawling Through Thorns can be purchased at the following:


Recovering from heart surgery, John Idris Jones finds himself remembering painful scenes from a life lived in the shadows cast by religious fundamentalism, bigotry and misunderstanding. When the psychologist at the cardiac rehab clinic suggests that these forays into the past may hold the key to becoming reconciled to the reality of coronary heart disease at such an early age, John embraces the memories. From a Victorian asylum in rural Wales in the early 1970s to the radical politics of HIV in Liverpool during the late eighties, John s is a journey in search of meaning and identity through the territory where sexuality, religion and culture collide. San Francisco s gay community during the early eighties offers a vibrant backdrop to John s emergence from the shadows, but AIDS begins to cast a more sinister darkness.




John Sam JonesAfter working in ministry, education and public health for more than thirty years, John lives in semi-retirement with his civil partner and two Welsh Collies, in a grand Victorian villa overlooking the estuary at Barmouth in Mid Wales. They run a small B&B.

John was the first co-chair of the LGB Forum Cymru, set up to advise the Welsh Government of LGB issues in 2001. For six years, until 2010, he was the chair of the All-Wales personal and Social Education (PSE) Working Group which met three times a year to discuss, debate and plan the recommendations for curriculum development and teacher training in all areas PSE including Sex and Relationships Education.

John Studied creative writing at Chester. His collection of short stories – Welsh Boys Too, published by Parthian in 2000 – was an Honour Book winner in the American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards 2002. Fishboys of Vernazza, published by Parthian in 2003, was short-listed for Welsh Book of the Year. Gay Men’s Press published his first novel, With Angels and Furies, in 2005. His second novel, Crawling Through Thorns was published by Parthian in September 2008.