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Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
  

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A strangely original and wonderfully thought provoking novel. By no means a simple read, the author writes in such a way as to make you think and consider. The lack of quotation marks and obvious introductions to show who is speaking, while at first strange, actively encourages you to feel a part of the action, and it focuses and concentrates your mind on what is being said. This is original and quirky writing, some sentences are curiously and almost perfectly repeated and yet the minute differences change the meaning, the context and therefore surprise and agitate your feelings. This isn't a novel to rush or dash through, you need to be alert, vigilant and ready for this compelling encounter. ~ Liz Robinson

Synopsis

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

A dark and socially provocative Southern-fried comedy about four UC Berkeley students who stage a dramatic protest during a Civil War reenactment - a fierce, funny, tragic work from a bold new writer. Born and raised in the heart of old Dixie, D'aron Davenport is a small-town fish floundering in the depths of a large, hyper-liberal pond of UC Berkeley. Everything changes in his American History class, when D'aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War re-enactment. His announcement is met with righteous indignation, and inspires a 'performative intervention'. Armed with youthful self-importance, makeshift slave costumes, righteous zeal and their own misguided ideas about the South, D'aron and his three idiosyncratic best friends descend on Braggsville. Their journey through backwoods churches, backroom politics, Waffle Houses and drunken family barbecues is uproarious to start, but will have devastating consequences. A literary coming-of-age novel for a new generation, written with keen wit, tremendous social insight and a unique, generous heart, Welcome to Braggsville reminds us of the promise and perils of youthful exuberance, while painting an indelible portrait of contemporary America.

Reviews

'A radical book in every sense of the word - thoroughgoing and extreme, ghastly and funny and gloriously provocative, a gauntlet thrown ... Its laugh-out-loud humour always underscores the pain of exile ... Johnson's prose is by turns scathing dark humour, soaring lyricism, and a quietly devastating analysis of every species of injustice. The result is a kind of mind-melting poetry - a linguistic electroconvulsive therapy for the reader. This book will wake you up! Welcome to Braggsville toggles brilliantly between tragedy and comedy and never lets the reader off the hook'
Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia

'Transcendence is what Geronimo Johnson achieves in this remarkable novel. Every racial assumption is both acknowledged and challenged in ways at times hilarious, at other times poignant. 'Welcome to Braggsville' is ambitious, wise, and brave.' Ron Rash, bestselling author of 'Serena'

'Geronimo Johnson is a fearless and driven young writer of dazzling gifts. His books map American multiculture as a poignant and twisted human comedy in which nobody comes outclean... surprising, heartbreaking, tragicomic, and deeply disturbing.'
Jaimy Gordon, author of Lord of Misrule

'Geronimo Johnson's powerful second novel combines the intellectual urgency of a satire with the emotional resonance of a tragedy. Welcome to Braggsville is as smart as it is subversive, and as bleakly hilarious as it is deeply necessary'
Jennifer duBois, author of A Partial History of Lost Causes

'Combines Ben Fountain's steely political eye, Junot Diaz's pop-infused dogma, and Toni Morrison's sense of social justice through historical reckoning. All that to say this: Welcome to Braggsville is the best and most powerful form of satire; it sets fire to your brain while expanding your heart. Big, shiny literary prizes were created for books like this one'
Wiley Cash, author of This Dark Road to Mercy

About the Author

Born in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and his M.A. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from UC Berkeley. He has taught writing and held fellowships-including a Stegner Fellowship and an Iowa Arts Fellowship-at ASU, Iowa, Berkeley, Western Michigan University and Stanford. He is also a curriculum designer for Bay Area non-profits and director of the UC Berkeley Summer Creative Writing Program. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Best New American Voices, the Indiana Review, the LA Review, and Illuminations, among other literary publications. His first novel Hold It 'Til It Hurts was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. He is currently a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

T. Geronimo Johnson

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Author's Website

www.geronimo1.com/
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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
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ISBN

9780008101299

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