What would you do if falsely accused of molesting a child? And you see your career crumble. Matthew Clark Davison’s novel “Doubting Thomas,” about a gay school teacher, challenges assumptions about guilt, innocence and more.

We’re not giving too much away to tell you that two investigations clear Thomas of any wrongdoing, because readers learn this in the first chapter. Witnesses vouched for his innocence.

But his elite private school’s parents, even in liberal Portland, Oregon, still don’t want him anymore.

On this week’s Out in the Bay, Davison reads passages from Doubting Thomas and discusses guilt and innocence, shame, homophobia, racism, wealth and power, and the limits of liberalism. He also talks about being asked by past publishers and agents to “tone down” the sexuality of queer characters.

Doubting Thomas has been praised by such writers as Michael Cunningham, Armistead Maupin, Justin Torres and T Kira Madden, and is writer/editor Michael Nava’s first acquisition after becoming managing editor for Amble Press.

Matthew Clark Davison teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University and is creator and teacher of The Lab :: Writing Classes with MCD, which he founded in 2007.

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This episode of Out in the Bay was edited by Eric Jansen and Amber Miles, with audio sweetening by Timoteo Valadez.

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