Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh

Overview


With an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa

Included in the 2014 Over the Rainbow list

"A profound compassion for racial and sexual minorities, the oppressed, and the colonized, informs [Glave's] searing, beautifully evocative collection of essays...He captures the languor and seductiveness of Jamaica...A graceful and original stylist, Glave highlights the marginalized--calling on the descendants of people who toiled for the Empire as slaves and ...

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Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh

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Overview


With an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa

Included in the 2014 Over the Rainbow list

"A profound compassion for racial and sexual minorities, the oppressed, and the colonized, informs [Glave's] searing, beautifully evocative collection of essays...He captures the languor and seductiveness of Jamaica...A graceful and original stylist, Glave highlights the marginalized--calling on the descendants of people who toiled for the Empire as slaves and colonial subjects to never forget their past, and, in effect, to those who profit from that past to acknowledge their complicity. Ultimately, his work is critical, yet filled with generosity and compassion."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

Best Book of 2013 selection, The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing

"Thomas Glave surely is one of the bravest of contemporary authors...He is a fearless truth-teller whose essays in Among the Bloodpeople are fully, unhesitatingly engaged with his and our world."
--New York Journal of Books

"This collection is wide-ranging, moving from the Caribbean (Jamaica in particular) to Cambridge, England, and from poetry to sex to discrimination."
--Library Journal, BEA Editors' Picks feature

"A sensitive, sharp set of intelligences--intellectual, to be sure, but prevailingly emotional, too--reside in the makeup of these essays...these pieces are moulded in resistance, bolstered by history, suffused in poetry: each of them is a delight."
--Paper Based Bookshop blog

"I didn't know [homosexuals in Jamaica] were disemboweled with machetes. And I didn't consider one could be poetic about fear and anger and isolation. But the touchingly phrased sentences don't soften the impact of reading about murder and political corruption. Instead, it eats at you because it makes you attentive to every word, feel the pauses as Glave takes a breath and speaks with the pulse of his heartbeat."
--Reeling and Writhing and Fainting in Coils (blog)

"Glave's prose is a thing of poetry, passion, beauty, and clarity in its compelling appeal for the space of human love and tolerance. A joy to read."
--Ngugi wa Thiong'o, author of Dreams in a Time of War

"Glave's voice resonates in the plucked string holding each sentence together, an echo of James Baldwin and Jean Genet; his language carries the full freight of witness...His language is seductive and regenerative, critical and humanizing, almost mathematically gauged and encompassing, and it never fails to hold us accountable. But alongside the terror we witness, moments of sheer beauty seethe out of the landscape--not as a balm, but as needful epistles of reflection...Glave has done a heroic deed."
--Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Neon Vernacular

"Glave is a gifted stylist...blessed with ambition, his own voice, and an impressive willingness to dissect how individuals actually think and behave."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Glave's literary temperament has been described as 'Faulknerian,' and the comparison speaks volumes. He achieves astonishing tonal effects...[and] has a poet's way with words."
--The Washington Post

Thomas Glave has been admired for his unique style and exploration of taboo, politically volatile topics. The award-winning author's new collection, Among the Bloodpeople, contains all the power and daring of his earlier writing but ventures even further into the political, the personal, and the secret.

Each essay in the volume reveals a passionate commitment to social justice and human truth. Whether confronting Jamaica's prime minister on antigay bigotry, contemplating the risks and seductions of "outlawed" sex, exploring a world of octopuses and men performing somersaults in the Caribbean Sea, or challenging repressive tactics employed at the University of Cambridge, Glave expresses the observations of a global citizen with the voice of a poet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Noting how important it is to recall “where one has come from,” O. Henry Award–winning author Glave (The Torturer’s Wife) wastes no time identifying himself as gay, black, and from Jamaica. A profound compassion for racial and sexual minorities, the oppressed, and the colonized, informs his searing, beautifully evocative collection of essays. Glave’s work spans a variety of topics, including an open letter to Jamaica’s prime minister protesting the country’s abhorrent violence toward gays; a meditation on his Jamaican ancestry (“the bloodpeople”); a tribute to the writers who inspired him, such as Toni Morrison; a reflection on the allure of “outlaw” sex; a warning against preciousness; and a lesson from a student-led protest at Cambridge University, where he was a visiting fellow in 2012. He captures the languor and seductiveness of Jamaica, likening himself to an octopus as he swims “sentence by sentence” toward a language that represents the person he wishes to be: “writer/artist, political activist, ‘intellectual.’” A graceful and original stylist, Glave highlights the marginalized—calling on the descendants of people who toiled for the Empire as slaves and colonial subjects to never forget their past, and, in effect, to those who profit from that past to acknowledge their complicity. Ultimately, his work is critical, yet filled with generosity and compassion. (July)
From the Publisher

"This is a collection that will leave you with chills; you will return to it not only for its sheer beauty, but also for its raw honesty, pain, and passion."
--Lambda Literary Report

"Glave writes beautifully..his...voice deserves our attention."
--The Gay & Lesbian Review

"With Among the Bloodpeople, [Glave] has given us a book as beautiful as it is necessary."
--Next Magazine

"A wonderful anthology, interspersing personal essays with more academic-leaning articles."
--CCLaP

"Glave's texts examine themselves, change course, and raise questions about their own assertions. Glave's hatred of oppression is balanced by his love of writing."
--Ithaca.com

"After stunning readers with his story collections Whose Song? and The Torturer's Wife, the O. Henry- and multiple Lammy-winner now returns to nonfiction in Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh."
--Band of Thebes

"Glave crosses boundaries of genre and community, speaking with extraordinary candor and vulnerability variously as the American son of immigrants, as a Jamaican, as a professor, as a queer boy from the Bronx...What unifies these identities and these essays is the ferocity of Glave’s voice, his sentences that can feel like living, untamed things."
--Towleroad: A Site with Homosexual Tendencies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781617751707
  • Publisher: Akashic Books
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,473,341
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Glave is an O. Henry Award-winning author and was named a Village Voice “Writer on the Verge” in 2000. He is the author of Whose Song? and Other Stories, Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent (Lambda Literary Award winner), The Torturer’s Wife (finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize), and editor of the anthology Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (Lambda Literary Award winner). His most recent work has appeared in the New York Times, the Kenyon Review, and Callaloo. Glave has been the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT, a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, and in 2014 will be the Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick.
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