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Thursday, 7:00 pm February 6, 2020
Hilarious moments abruptly follow terrifying events in Gabriel Bump’s extraordinary debut Everywhere You Don’t Belong. It’s normal to cry and then laugh-out-loud while reading this book. Set in Chicago’s South Side, a young black Claude McKay Love, who is raised by his strong-willed and principled grandmother, is searching for a way out. Tired of the brutal gang violence, huge riots, and racist police corruption, he leaves home for a midwest college to shake his past and start fresh. But the people he meets won’t let him forget where he came from—and, he discovers, maybe he doesn’t really want to forget either.
Hot off a six-figure two-book deal, Bump’s highly anticipated coming-of-age novel “introduces an irreverent comic voice” (Kirkus Reviews). Author Kaitlyn Greenidge will interview Bump on why he needed to write this story and who he wrote it for.
Gabriel Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Slam magazine, the Huffington Post, Springhouse Journal, and other publications. He was awarded the 2016 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He lives in Buffalo, New York.
Kaitlyn Greenidge received her MFA from Hunter College, where she studied with Nathan Englander and Peter Carey, and was Colson Whitehead’s writing assistant as part of the Hertog Research Fellowship. Greenidge was the recipient of the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize. She was a Bread Loaf scholar, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artist-in-residence, and a Johnson State College visiting emerging writer. Her work has appeared in the Believer, the Feminist Wire, At Length, Fortnight Journal, Green Mountains Review, Afrobeat Journal, the Tottenville Review, and American Short Fiction. Originally from Boston, she now lives in Brooklyn.
Everywhere You Don’t Belong
By Gabriel Bump
In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude isn’t dangerous or brilliant—he’s an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home.
Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.
Percolating with fierceness and originality, attuned to the ironies inherent in our twenty-first-century landscape, Everywhere You Don’t Belong marks the arrival of a brilliant young talent.
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