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I've Been Wrong Before: Book summary and reviews of I've Been Wrong Before by Evan James

I've Been Wrong Before

by Evan James

I've Been Wrong Before by Evan James X
I've Been Wrong Before by Evan James
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2020
    256 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

From the award-winning essayist and author of the "shrewd as hell and hysterically funny" (Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties) novel Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe comes a moving and unforgettable essay collection about his travels around the globe as he reflects on the power and complexity of human relationships.

From the award-winning essay "Lover's Theme," in which Evan James explores the life of a drag queen in San Francisco, to his poignant story of coming out in "One Hell of a Homie," set against the backdrop of the 1992 film Class Act, this essay collection brilliantly captures both the beauty and pain of relationships—friendly, familiar, and romantic. I've Been Wrong Before is an eye-opening and heartfelt illustration of how our differences are often the things that bring us closer together. Masterfully balancing tremendous insight with startling humor, this absorbing collection features Evan James's "wry intelligence and sense of the absurd" (R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries) and is perfect for fans of Alexander Chee and Maggie Nelson.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Cutting gay cultural clichés, the author skillfully reveals his complex inner life. Attuned to the broad expectations or struggles of being a contemporary gay male, he is also deft in his exploration of the personal and financial difficulties of anyone living in our current era. A remarkably insightful and entertaining collection from a talented voice." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[H]eart-wrenching, hilarious, and provocative... This is a profoundly moving book that doesn't let up and is well worth the emotion it is sure to engender in readers." - Library Journal (starred review)

"[At times,] his navel-gazing threatens to overwhelm his storytelling. But aside from these speed bumps, most readers should find James's account of his journey into adulthood a smooth and enjoyable ride." - Publishers Weekly

"Perhaps [James] has been wrong before, but in this fine collection, he is inarguably right." - Booklist

"I've Been Wrong Before is an intoxicating, headlong, barbaric yawp of a journey...[It] gets our messy human lives so very, very right." - Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

"Each of Evan James's essays rings with the remarkable tenderness in them, arriving with the wit and sharp insight like the quiet friend sneaking into the party behind the flashier ones—a love for his subjects that even they may not have for themselves. I have been tapping my foot for years, waiting for this collection, and now I will continue as I wait for the next one." - Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

"Reading the essays of Evan James is like getting trapped in an elevator with the most entrancing stranger you've ever met. It's the radiant company you didn't even know you needed until the world graced you with it. His voice is tender, surprising, and true—bursting with absurdity and vitality, with the deep bewilderments, long yearnings, and messy fulfillments that constitute a life." - Leslie Jamison, New York Times-bestselling author of Make It Scream, Make It Burn

The information about I've Been Wrong Before shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Evan James

Evan James is an award-winning writer whose personal essays and fiction have appeared in such publications as Travel + Leisure, Oxford American, and the New York Times, among others. He is the author of Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has received fellowships from Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Lambda Literary Writers' Retreat, where he was an Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow. He lives in New York.

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