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Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


Welcome to Braggsville cover

About Welcome to Braggsville

• Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (February 17, 2015)

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.
 
 
 
My Thoughts:
 
Being a born and bred Southern girl, I had a little bit of a hard time with this novel. I realize it is supposed to be a satire of the culture, but I still cringed a few times.
 
That being said, I did enjoy the novel and admire the author for his writing skill. Because a good writer invokes emotion, and T. Geronimo Johnson does a great job with this story.
 
 
 
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About T. Geronimo Johnson

T Geronimo Johnson

Born and raised in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his M.F.A. 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 Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, Western Michigan University, and Stanford. His first novel, Hold It ‘Til It Hurts, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Johnson is currently a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

He lives in Berkeley, California.
Find out more about Johnson at his website and connect with him on Facebook.




My thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing the book and including me on this tour.

I was not compensated for my opinion.




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1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!