Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a gorgeous, moving
memoir of how one of America’s most innovative and respected journalists found
his voice by coming to terms with a painful past.
New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow mines the compelling poetry of the out-of-time
African American Louisiana town where he grew up—a place where slavery’s
legacy felt astonishingly close, reverberating in the elders’ stories and in
the near-constant wash of violence.
Blow’s attachment to his
mother—a fiercely driven woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove
box, a job plucking poultry at a nearby factory, a soon-to-be-ex husband, and a
love of newspapers and learning—cannot protect him from secret abuse at the
hands of an older cousin. It’s damage that triggers years of anger and searing
Finally, Blow escapes to a
nearby state university, where he joins a black fraternity after a passage of
brutal hazing. He then enters a world of racial and sexual privilege that
feels like everything he’s ever needed and wanted, until he himself is called upon to become the one perpetuating the shocking abuse.
This powerfully redemptive
memoir both fits the tradition of African American storytelling from the
South and gives it an indelible new slant. Download and start listening now!