Scrolling through Instagram I stumbled upon one of Well Read Black Girl’s Live sessions—An Editorial Vision featuring Rakia Clark of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Nicole Counts of One World Books. Full disclosure: Rakia was the acquisition editor for my first novel ☛THE CHEATING CURVE [pub: Dafina/Kensington], so whenever I see her name I pause and click. During the convo, Nicole asked Rakia what was one of the most interesting projects she’d edited where she came away with something amazing. Rakia immediately answered with ☛PUNCH ME UP TO THE GODS: A MEMOIR [pub: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt] by Brian Broome. “I get emotional every time I think about this book,” Rakia admitted. “He writes about being a dark-skinned Black gay kid growing up in a small town in Ohio. So this is set in the midwest, in the late ’70s thru the ’80s and trying to learn how to be a man. Like, what is Black masculinity? What is masculinity? And how is what that is supposed to be matched with what he looks like? Which affects how the world sees him… Matched with how he feels about himself…and how he’s just trying to be a person in the world? It is a stunning book.” #TBR
Punch Me Up To The Gods releases May 21, 2021.
Punch Me To The Gods Synopsis From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
A poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir in essays about blackness, masculinity, and addiction.
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.