Brent Hartinger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brent Hartinger
Nationality USA
Literary movement Gay teen fiction
Notable works Geography Club
Partner Michael Jensen

Brent Hartinger is an American author, playwright, and screenwriter, best known for his novels about gay teenagers.

Early life[edit]

Hartinger was born in 1971 in Washington State and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. He earned a bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and studied for a masters in psychology at Western Washington University.


Hartinger has published nine novels.[1]

His first novel was Geography Club, about teenagers who secretly start a gay-straight alliance at their high school. It has been challenged in some American schools, including a school in Hartinger's home town of Tacoma.[2]

Hartinger has published three sequels to the book, with at least one more forthcoming.[3]

A feature film version of Geography Club has been filmed, starring Scott Bakula, Nikki Blonski, Ana Gasteyer, Cameron Deane Stewart, and Justin Deeley. It is set for a 2013 release.[4]

Hartinger is the author of many plays, including a stage adaptation of Geography Club, which has received regional productions in Tacoma, Salt Lake City, Edmonton, and elsewhere. A feature film version of his play The Starfish Scream, which has also received many regional productions (and was twice produced Off-Off Broadway in New York), is in active development for a possible 2014 release.[1]

Hartinger's other books, mostly young adult mysteries or thrillers, include Project Sweet Life, Grand & Humble, The Last Chance Texaco, and Shadow Walkers. The first three of these are not gay-themed.[5]

Hartinger is a sometime-member of the faculty of Vermont College's MFA program.[1] He also once taught creative writing at Tacoma School of the Arts.

Hartinger co-founded the gay entertainment website with Michael Jensen and Sarah Warn. The site was sold to MTV/Viacom in 2006.[6]

The Russel Middlebrook Series[edit]

Geography Club and its four existing and forthcoming sequels comprise The Russel Middlebrook Series.[7]

The second book in the series, The Order of the Poison Oak, describes the main characters' experiences at summer camp.[7]

The series' third book, Double Feature: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies, was originally published under the title Split Screen. It tells the story of the main characters working as extras on a zombie film, portraying the same two-week period from two very different points of view: the first from Russel ("Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies"), and the second from Russel's bisexual friend Min ("Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies").[7]

The fourth book in the series, The Elephant of Surprise, tells the story of Russel's involvement with a handsome but mysterious homeless activist.[3]

The author has hinted at the possibility of a fifth book in the series, possibly set five years ahead, with Russel in college.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Hartinger lives in Seattle with his husband, novelist and writer Michael Jensen.[8] In 1990, he helped co-found Oasis, one of the nation's first support organization for gay teens, in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. He is a co-founder of AS IF! Authors Support Intellectual Freedom, a group of Young Adult authors supporting intellectual freedom. He also worked as a counselor at a youth group home.[1]


Geography Club is Hartinger's first novel.

The Russel Middlebrook Series:

  • Geography Club (2003)
  • The Order of the Poison Oak (2005)
  • Double Feature: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies (2007)
  • The Elephant of Surprise (2013)

Other Books:

  • The Last Chance Texaco (2004)
  • Grand & Humble (2006)
  • Dreamquest (2007)
  • Project Sweet Life (2009)
  • Shadow Walkers (2011)


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Brent's Brain: Pressroom". Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  2. ^ "School District Bans Novel About Gay Teenagers". Associated Press. 2005-11-21. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  3. ^ a b c "Brent's Brain: Questions That Haunt Me". Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  4. ^ "IMDB: Geography Club". Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  5. ^ "Brent's Brain: Pressroom". Retrieved 20012-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Brent's Brain: Who Am I". Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  7. ^ a b c "Brent's Brain: The Russel Middlebrook Series". Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  8. ^ "Picture of Hartinger's marriage license from his Facebook page". Retrieved 2013-12-04.