Three Sides to Every Story is a love triangle that unfolds in the voices of
Johnny, Tonya, and James. Johnny and Tonya are high school sweethearts whose
dream of a life together is shattered when Tonya is assaulted. Johnny, in
revenge, beats her attacker and is imprisoned.
At first, Tonya stands by Johnny, but eventually finds comfort in a rapper's
arms. Meanwhile, in prison, Johnny meets the openly gay James. What begins as a
friendship soon evolves into an intimate relationship, a sexually passionate
romance that is cut short when James is released on parole. A year later,
Johnny leaves prison haunted by his feelings for both James and Tonya.
Their lives are turned into emotional roller coasters as each one tries to come
to terms with what they really want. Inviting comparison to E. Lynn Harris and
J. L. King, Clarence Nero creates an utterly compelling narrative while
illuminating the social and sexual challenges young urban black people face
Not since the Native Son has a young black man written so
eloquently about the experience of growing up black, poor and male
in urban America.
Clarence Nero is a native of New Orleans and a third generation
Ninth Ward Resident. He graduated from Howard University with a
B.S. degree in Chemistry and worked as a toxicological chemist in
the forensic department of the District government in Washington,
D.C. Nero was nicknamed "Cheekie" and grew up in New Orleans'
infamous Desire Housing Project, where drugs, violence and poverty
defined the way of life. His first novel, Cheekie: A Child Out of
the Desire, a story loosely based on his childhood, was nominated
for "Best Books for Young Adults," by the American Library
Association and selected as "One of the Best First Novels of
1998," by Library Journal.
Nero has been interviewed on major radio stations, including CBS
and NBC affiliates in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Atlanta,
Washington, Tulsa, and National Public Radio. He has also been
interviewed in publications and newspapers, including, The
Times-Picayune, Baton Rouge Magazine, Howard University Magazine,
City Paper in Washington, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The