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Everywhere You Don't Belong Summary and Reviews

Everywhere You Don't Belong

by Gabriel Bump

Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump X
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2020
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"With deft writing and rat-a-tat, laugh-until-you-gasp-at-the-implications dialog, Bump delivers a singular sense of growing up black that will resonate with readers." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Bump balances his heavy subject matter with a healthy dose of humor, but the highlight is Claude, a complex, fully developed protagonist who anchors everything. Readers will be moved in following his path to young adulthood." - Publishers Weekly

"Everywhere You Don't Belong is an excellent coming-of-age novel that will make you laugh when you least expect it." - Shelf Awareness

"[A] spiraling coming-of-age tale about abandonment and perseverance...sparks with originality...The ripped from the headlines plot of Everywhere You Don't Belong draws instant interest." - Foreword Reviews

"This book is astonishing. You'll be smiling even as your heart is breaking, and you'll tip willingly into this world Bump offers you because what appears again and again are spectacular beams of light, also called love, also called hope, also called family. Gabriel Bump has established himself as a stunning talent to be reckoned with." - Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King

"In Everywhere You Don't Belong, Gabriel Bump completely, beautifully, and energetically illuminates the heretofore unrecognized lines connecting Ellison's Invisible Man to Johnson's Jesus' Son. This is a startling, original, and hilarious book. I look forward to reading it again." - Adam Levin, author of The Instructions

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Author Information

Gabriel Bump

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.

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