Friday, June 09, 2023

Seven top books about people feeling out of place

Jeff Boyd is a former public-school teacher from Chicago and a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received the Deena Davidson Friedman Prize for Fiction. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his partner and child.

His debut novel is The Weight.

At Electric Lit Boyd tagged seven books about "finding belonging in an environment of otherness," including:
They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib

When Abdurraqib writes about being the only Black guy at a concert venue except for the people working there, I know exactly what he’s talking about. And through his poetic ruminations on that out-of-placeness and the way in which he ties in American culture, I feel less alone. In 2016 I lived in Chicago and witnessed firsthand the height of Chance the Rapper and what he meant to the city. How he lifted everyone up in that time of great despair. Hanif saw it too. He speaks for himself; and he speaks for so many of us. I can’t believe he would admit to being such a Fall Out Boy fan, but who am I kidding, I’ve seen them in concert several times. And when he talks about what the band meant to him and a friend he lost, I dare you not to shed a tear.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue