2023 General Assembly Featured Speaker

A raw, poetic, coming-of-age “masterwork” (The New York Times) about Blackness, masculinity and addiction

Product Code: 9102
ISBN: 9780358695257
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Mariner Books
Pages: 272
Published Date: 05/03/2022
Availability:In stock
Price: $17.99

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.

Bookmark and Share

Introduction The Initiation of Tuan

We Real Cool

We Left School
The Red Caboose
Parental Alienation 101
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 Gravel

Tabula Rasa
About the Author

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

"In his thoroughly electric debut, PUNCH ME UP TO THE GODS, Brian Broome will shatter your heart. Then make you laugh, sweat and cringe. And—all while eviscerating stereotypes and expanding notions of Black masculinity and queer identity—he'll shatter your heart again, then carefully, exquisitely, piece it back together." — Shelf Awareness (starred 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 . . . 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." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An engrossing memoir about growing up Black and gay and finding a place in the world. Structured around Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem "We Real Cool,” Broome’s thought-provoking, emotional journey unfolds through a clever use of parallel stories and juxtaposition . . . Beautifully written, this examination of what it means to be Black and gay in America is a must-read. A stellar debut memoir." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Bursting at the seams with raw power . . . Broome is a debut author, but you wouldn’t know it by his writing. He commands his story and readers’ attention in a way that will have them laughing, crying, and screaming along with him . . . Punch Me Up to the Gods is an exquisite and important memoir." — Library Journal (starred review)

Be the first to submit a review on this product!
Review and Rate this Item

You might also be interested in: