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This memoir is poetic, graceful, and gorgeous and simultaneously raw, heart-wrenching, and brutal. Brian Broome has so generously shared with us his very honest and evocative journey to allowing himself the permission to exist in his own skin and take up space in this world. I will never be able to recommend this book highly enough.— Autumn
A poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addictionPunch 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 Broome'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.