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Arcadia Publishing

Be Not Afraid of My Body

Regular price $19.99 USD
Regular price $19.99 USD Sale price $19.99 USD
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From an exhilarating new voice, a breathtaking memoir about gay desire, Blackness, and growing up.

Darius Stewart spent his childhood in the Lonsdale projects of Knoxville, where he grew up navigating school, friendship, and his own family life in a context that often felt perilous. As we learn about his life in Tennessee—and eventually in Texas and Iowa, where he studies to become a poet—he details the obstacles to his most crucial desires: hiding his earliest attraction to boys in his neighborhood, predatory stalkers, doomed affairs, his struggles with alcohol addiction, and his eventual diagnosis with HIV. Through a mix of straightforward memoir, brilliantly surreal reveries, and moments of startling imagery and insight, Stewart’s explorations of love, illness, chemical dependency, desire, family, joy, shame, loneliness, and beauty coalesce into a wrenching, musical whole.

A lyrical narrative reminiscent of Saeed Jones’s How We Fight for Our Lives and Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, Be Not Afraid of My Body stands as a compelling testament to growing up Black and gay in America, and to the drive in all of us to collect the fragments of our own experience and transform them into a story that does justice to all the multitudes we contain.

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