Since I Laid My Burden Down by Brontez Purnell
A riotous, hilarious, and heart-breaking cult novel about growing up black, queer, and punk.
When Deshawn hears of his uncle's death, his riotous big-city life in San Francisco is abruptly put on hold while he travels back to Alabama for the funeral. While there, he's hit by flashbacks of growing up queer and black in the '80s South, of a youth filled with strong women, bewildered boys, and messed up queers.
Wading through prickly reminders of his childhood, Deshawn reconnects with his old self and the ghosts of his past. A raw, dirty, hilarious, and heart-breaking novel about the experiences that shape us, Since I Laid My Burden Down asks the intimate question: who deserves love?
Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a The Cruising Diaries: Expanded Edition and 100 Boyfriends. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Writers' Award for Fiction, he was named one of the 32 Black Male Writers of Our Time by The New York Times Magazine.
"This is the book you fall asleep reading and wake up excited to get back to. A Cult Masterpiece with so many memorable characters and phrases you'll want to grab strangers and read paragraphs to them."- Kathleen Hanna
"Brontez Purnell is foul-mouthed and evil. Be warned: this book will make you cackle out loud like you've got the Devil inside you then it will break your heart. Be careful where you read it. BUT DO READ IT." - Justin Vivian Bond
"Since I Laid My Burden Down has a fearless (sometimes reckless) humor as Brontez Purnell interrogates what it means to be black, male, queer; a son, an uncle, a lover; Southern, punk, and human. An emotional tightrope walk of a book and an important American story rarely, if ever, told." - Michelle Tea