Punch me up to the gods

by Broome, Brian,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Unavailable 0 copies
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A poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction

" Punch Me Up to the Gods obliterates what we thought were the limitations of not just the American memoir, but the possibilities of the American paragraph. I'm not sure a book has ever had me sobbing, punching the air, dying of laughter, and needing to write as much as Brian Broome's staggering debut. This sh*t is special." --Kiese Laymon, New York Times bestselling author of Heavy

" Punch Me Up to the Gods is some of the finest writing I have ever encountered and one of the most electrifying, powerful, simply spectacular memoirs I--or you--have ever read. And you will read it; you must read it. It contains everything we all crave so deeply: truth, soul, brilliance, grace. It is a masterpiece of a memoir and Brian Broome should win the Pulitzer Prize for writing it. I am in absolute awe and you will be, too." --Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors

Punch Me Up to the Gods introduces a powerful new talent in Brian Broome, whose early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys propel forward this gorgeous, aching, and unforgettable debut. Brian's recounting of his experiences--in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory--reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in. Indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use help to soothe his hurt, young psyche, usually to uproarious and devastating effect. A no-nonsense mother and broken father play crucial roles in our misfit's origin story. But it is Brian's voice in the retelling that shows the true depth of vulnerability for young Black boys that is often quietly near to bursting at the seams.

Cleverly framed around Gwendolyn Brooks's poem "We Real Cool," the iconic and loving ode to Black boyhood, Punch Me Up to the Gods is at once playful, poignant, and wholly original. Broome's writing brims with swagger and sensitivity, bringing an exquisite and fresh voice to ongoing cultural conversations about Blackness in America.
We real cool
The initiation of Tuan
We left school
The red caboose
Parental alienation
The rent
We lurk late
Like this
We strike straight
The key
Game theory
We sing sin
A house is not a home
Let the church say "amen"
We thin gin
This gay life
Look left, look right
We jazz June
We die soon
Tabula rasa
Human being.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Broome debuts with a magnificent and harrowing memoir that digs into the traumas of growing up Black and gay in Ohio in the late 1970s and early '80s. His reflections jump between locations and times, which Broome organizes into chapters titled by the stanzas of Gwendolyn Brooks's classic poem "We Real Cool." Another framing device utilized throughout is Broome observing a young Black boy on a public bus as he's berated by his father, reminding Broome of his own childhood. "What I am witnessing, is... this 'being a man' to the exclusion of all other things." Broome frankly details his early physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father, white teachers, and neighborhood boys, as well as his later struggles with shame, substance abuse, and melancholic attempts to find community in Black queer spaces ("Most of my night-time encounters I will spend the rest of my life trying to forget"). He uncovers deep, intergenerational traumas, and racialized queerphobia and misogyny ("White boys liked girl things and acting like a white boy or a girl of any color was prohibited"). There are no easy victims or villains in Broome's painful, urgent telling--his testimony rings out as a searing critique of soul-crushing systems and stereotypes. Agent: Yona Harvey, Upstart Crow Literary (May)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Broome, Brian.
African American authors -- Biography.
African American gay men -- Biography.
African American authors.
African American gay men.
Publisher Boston :2021
Language English
Description pages cm
ISBN 9780358439103
Other Classic View