If You Knew Then What I Know Now

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The middle-American coming-of-age has found new life in Ryan Van Meter's coming-out, made as strange as it is familiar by acknowledging the role played by gender and sexuality.

If You Knew Then What I Know Now

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In fourteen linked essays, If You Knew Then What I Know Now reinvents the memoir with all-encompassing empathy—for bully and bullied alike. A father pitches baseballs at his hapless son, and a grandmother watches with silent forbearance as the same slim, quiet boy sets the table dressed in a blue satin dress. Another essay explores origins of the word "faggot," and its etymological connection to "flaming queen."

This deft collection maps the unremarkable landscapes of childhood with compassion and precision, allowing awkwardness its own beauty. This is essay as an argument for the intimate—not the sensational—and an embrace of all the skinned knees in our stumble toward adulthood.

Additional Information

Author Ryan Van Meter
Publisher Sarabande Books
Page Count 209pp
Publication Size 5.25 x 8
Publication Notes trade paperback
Publication Date April 2011
ISBN 978-1-932511-94-9

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