Welcome to Braggsville

ISBN 13: 9780007548002

Welcome to Braggsville

 
9780007548002: Welcome to Braggsville
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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.

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From the Back Cover:

From the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of Hold It 'Til It Hurts comes 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

Welcome to Braggsville. The City That Love Built in the Heart of Georgia. Population 712.

Born and raised in the heart of old Dixie, D'aron Davenport finds himself in unfamiliar territory his freshman year at UC Berkeley. Two thousand miles and a world away from his childhood, he is a small-town fish floundering in the depths of a large hyperliberal pond. Caught between the prosaic values of his rural hometown and the intellectualized multicultural cosmopolitanism of "Berzerkeley," the nineteen-year-old white kid is uncertain about his place, until one disastrous party brings him three idiosyncratic best friends: Louis, a "kung fu comedian" from California; Candice, an earnest do-gooder from Iowa claiming Native roots; and Charlie, an introspective inner-city black teen from Chicago. They dub themselves the "4 Little Indians."

But everything changes in the group's alternative history class, when D'aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, recently rebranded "Patriot Days." His announcement is met with righteous indignation and inspires Candice to suggest a "performative intervention" to protest the reenactment. Armed with youthful self-importance, makeshift slave costumes, righteous zeal, and their own misguided ideas about the South, the 4 Little Indians descend on Braggsville. Their journey through backwoods churches, backroom politics, Waffle Houses, and drunken family barbecues is uproarious at first but has devastating consequences.

With the keen wit of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the deft argot of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, T. Geronimo Johnson has written an astonishing, razor-sharp satire. Using a panoply of styles and tones, from tragicomic to Southern Gothic, he skewers issues of class, race, intellectual and political chauvinism, Obamaism, social media, and much more.

A literary coming-of-age novel for a new generation, written with 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.

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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