An extraordinary memoir of a bruised child become a lost young man, looking for "home," emerging through the maelstrom of family missteps, finding that the people who hurt and the people who heal are often one in the same. Easy to sink wholly into the language — hard-edged and resonant, funny, tender, and a tad rough — with distant echoes of This Boy’s Life and Empire Falls.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER USA TODAY BESTSELLER Winner of the New England Book Award for Nonfiction Winner of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Nonfiction Book of the Year
“The best of what memoir can accomplish... pulling no punches on the path to truth, but it always finds the capacity for grace and joy.” –Esquire, "Best Memoirs of the Year"
A TIME Must-Read Book of the Year * A Rolling Stone Top Culture Pick * A Publishers Weekly Best Memoir of the Season * A Buzzfeed Book Pick * A Goodreads Readers' Most Anticipated Book * A Chicago Tribune Book Pick * A Boston.com Book You Should Read * A Los Angeles Times Book to Add to Your Reading List
Isaac Fitzgerald has lived many lives. He's been an altar boy, a bartender, a fat kid, a smuggler, a biker, a prince of New England. But before all that, he was a bomb that exploded his parents' lives-or so he was told. In Dirtbag, Massachusetts, Fitzgerald, with warmth and humor, recounts his ongoing search for forgiveness, a more far-reaching vision of masculinity, and a more expansive definition of family and self.
Fitzgerald's memoir-in-essays begins with a childhood that moves at breakneck speed from safety to violence, recounting an extraordinary pilgrimage through trauma to self-understanding and, ultimately, acceptance. From growing up in a Boston homeless shelter to bartending in San Francisco, from smuggling medical supplies into Burma to his lifelong struggle to make peace with his body, Fitzgerald strives to take control of his own story: one that aims to put aside anger, isolation, and entitlement to embrace the idea that one can be generous to oneself by being generous to others.
Gritty and clear-eyed, loud-hearted and beautiful, Dirtbag, Massachusetts is a rollicking book that might also be a lifeline.
Isaac Fitzgerald appears frequently on The Today Show and is the author of the bestselling children's book How to Be a Pirate as well as the co-author of Pen & Ink and Knives & Ink (winner of an IACP Award). His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, and numerous other publications. He lives in Brooklyn.
Summer reading is in full effect with plenty of new stories in sight! We can’t get enough of reimaginings and retellings, and this month is full of lush dark takes on some of our favorites, tales of sisterhood and survival and love, thrilling page-turners and even more disturbing cover art. These are the best new books […]
“I wish I could tell you that I went to a cabin and wrote it perfectly and got it in on time, and it just flowed out of me. But really, the truth of the matter is, it came in fits and starts. And it was written on notepads and half-filled notebooks and phone apps […]