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The Red Shirt

Corey Sobel

October 5, 2020

At first, Miles Furling plays football to fit in. By eighth grade he realizes that he is both gay and a football player. After an unsuccessful attempt at honesty, he hides who he is and puts all his energy into being a successful high school linebacker. Now it’s the early 2000’s, and Miles earns a full football scholarship to King College, which is known as having the worst Division One football program and one of the best academic programs In the country. When he arrives for the recruiting visit, Miles is shocked to hear one of the country’s top recruits, the brilliant Reshawn McCoy, taking what looks like an illegal bribe. Nobody knows why he chose King, but Reshawn, who is assigned as Miles’s roommate, refuses to talk about it. Turns out he’s also struggling to be something he’s not and focuses on his research about the school’s slave-owning founders. The decisions they make will change both their lives.

Corey Sobel is a graduate of Duke University, where he was a scholarship football player and received the Anne Flexner Award for Fiction and the Reynolds Price Award for Scriptwriting. He has reported on human rights abuses in Burma, served as an HIV/AIDS researcher in Kenya, and consulted for the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations. The Red Shirt (UP of Kentucky, 2020), his debut novel, was longlisted for the 2020 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. He has written for numerous publications, including HuffPost,, and Chapel Hill News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, his cat, and his dog, and works at writing research reports for humanitarian organizations.

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