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.
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.
Carlos Hoyt explores race, racial identity and related issues as a scholar, teacher, psychotherapist, parent, and racialized member of our society, interrogating master narratives and the dominant discourse on race with the goal of illuminating and virtuously disrupting the racial worldview. An adversely racialized nominally black male, Carlos eschews race as a useful aspect of identity, and, based on his study of nominally black individuals who do not subscribe to racial identity, he presents the non-racial worldview as an alternative and antidote to our societies centuries-old inability to move beyond the puzzles and perils inherent in a racialized perspective on human differences. Carlos holds teaching positions at Wheelock College, Simmons College, and Boston University in Boston Massachusetts, and has authored peer-reviewed articles on spirituality in social work practice and the pedagogy of the definition of racism.
For the vast majority of human existence we did without the idea of race. Since its inception a mere few hundred years ago, and despite the voluminous documentation of the problems associated with living within the racial worldview, we have come to act as if race is something we cannot live without.
“A comically dark coming-of-age story about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, but it’s also social commentary at its finest, woven seamlessly into the work . . .