Skip to content
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL DOMESTIC ORDERS $35+
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL US ORDERS $35+

Punch Me Up To The Gods: A Memoir

Availability:
Only 5 left!
Original price $17.99 - Original price $17.99
Original price $17.99
$17.99
$17.99 - $17.99
Current price $17.99
WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE • WINNER OF A LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' PICK • A STONEWALL HONOR BOOK • NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, KIRKUS REVIEWS, LIBRARY JOURNAL, AMAZON AND APPLE BOOKS • A TODAY SUMMER READING LIST PICK • AN ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY BEST DEBUT OF SUMMER PICK • A PEOPLE BEST BOOK OF SUMMER PICK


A raw, poetic, coming-of-age “masterwork” (The New York Times) about Blackness, masculinity and addiction


Punch Me Up to the Gods obliterates what we thought were the limitations of not just the American memoir, but the possibilities of the American paragraph. I’m not sure a book has ever had me sobbing, punching the air, dying of laughter, and needing to write as much as Brian Broome’s staggering debut. This sh*t is special.”

—Kiese Laymon, New York Times bestselling author of Heavy


Punch Me Up to the Gods is some of the finest writing I have ever encountered and one of the most electrifying, powerful, simply spectacular memoirs I—or you—have ever read. And you will read it; you must read it. It contains everything we all crave so deeply: truth, soul, brilliance, grace. It is a masterpiece of a memoir and Brian Broome should win the Pulitzer Prize for writing it. I am in absolute awe and you will be, too.”

—Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors


Punch Me Up to the Gods introduces a powerful new talent in Brian Broome, whose early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys propel forward this gorgeous, aching, and unforgettable debut. Brian’s recounting of his experiences—in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory—reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in. Indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use help to soothe his hurt, young psyche, usually to uproarious and devastating effect. A no-nonsense mother and broken father play crucial roles in our misfit’s origin story. But it is Brian’s voice in the retelling that shows the true depth of vulnerability for young Black boys that is often quietly near to bursting at the seams.

Cleverly framed around Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool,” the iconic and loving ode to Black boyhood, Punch Me Up to the Gods is at once playful, poignant, and wholly original. Broome’s writing brims with swagger and sensitivity, bringing an exquisite and fresh voice to ongoing cultural conversations about Blackness in America.

ISBN-13: 9780358695257

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Publication Date: 05-03-2022

Pages: 272

Product Dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

BRIAN BROOME, a poet and screenwriter, is K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is pursuing an MFA. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Table of Contents

Introduction Yona Harvey xi

The Initiation of Tuan 1

We Real Cool

Colder 7

We Left School

Bee 21

The Red Caboose 38

Parental Alienation 101 52

The Rent 66

We Lurk Late

Arena 85

Sandalwood 98

Like This 104

We Strike Straight

The Key 123

Game Theory 139

We Sing Sin

A House is Not a Home 149

Let the Church Say "Amen" 159

We Thin Gin

This Gay Life 177

Look Left, Look Right 186

We Jazz June

Carnival 199

We Die Soon

Gravel 217

Stall 227

Tabula Rasa 241

Acknowledgments 249