• IRL Author Talk: Sink with Joseph Earl Thomas & Kiese Laymon-March 22 at 7PM CST

IRL Author Talk: Sink with Joseph Earl Thomas & Kiese Laymon-March 22 at 7PM CST

Come out and welcome author, Joseph Earl Thomas to Houston as he celebrates the release of his book, Sink: A Memoir.

EVENT DEETS

When: March 22 at 7 PM CST

Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

How: RSVP ONLY to grab a free ticket or RSVP WITH BOOK to reserve your copy of Sink and support this Black owned bookstore and its programming. 

About the Book

"A brilliant and brilliantly different" (Kiese Laymon), wrenching and redemptive coming-of-age memoir about the difficulty of growing up in a hazardous home and the glory of finding salvation in geek culture.

Stranded within an ever-shifting family’s desperate but volatile attempts to love, saddled with a mercurial mother mired in crack addiction, and demeaned daily for his perceived weakness, Joseph Earl Thomas grew up feeling he was under constant threat. Roaches fell from the ceiling, colonizing bowls of noodles and cereal boxes. Fists and palms pounded down at school and at home, leaving welts that ached long after they disappeared. An inescapable hunger gnawed at his frequently empty stomach, and requests for food were often met with indifference if not open hostility. Deemed too unlike the other boys to ever gain the acceptance he so desperately desired, he began to escape into fantasy and virtual worlds, wells of happiness in a childhood assailed on all sides.

In a series of exacting and fierce vignettes, Thomas guides readers through the unceasing cruelty that defined his circumstances, laying bare the depths of his loneliness and illuminating the vital reprieve geek culture offered him. With remarkable tenderness and devastating clarity, he explores how lessons of toxic masculinity were drilled into his body and the way the cycle of violence permeated the very fabric of his environment. Even in the depths of isolation, there were unexpected moments of joy carved out, from summers where he was freed from the injurious structures of his surroundings to the first glimpses of kinship he caught on his journey to becoming a Pokémon master. SINK follows Thomas's coming-of-age towards an understanding of what it means to lose the desire to fit in—with his immediate peers, turbulent family, or the world—and how good it feels to build community, love, and salvation on your own terms.

About the Author

Joseph Earl Thomas is a writer from Frankford whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in VQR, N+1, Gulf Coast, The Offing, and The Kenyon Review. He has an MFA in prose from The University of Notre Dame and is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania. An excerpt of his memoir, Sink, won the 2020 Chautauqua Janus Prize and he has received fellowships from Fulbright, VONA, Tin House, Kimbilio, & Breadloaf, though he is now the Anisfield-Wolf Fellow at the CSU Poetry Center. He’s writing the novel God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer, and a collection of stories: Leviathan Beach, among other oddities. He is also an associate faculty member at The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, as well as Director of Programs at Blue Stoop, a literary hub for Philly writers.

About Conversation Partner

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the Libby Shearn Moody Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rice University. Laymon is the author of Long Division, which won the 2022 NAACP Image Award for fiction, and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, named a notable book of 2021 by the New York Times critics. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. LaHe is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program based out of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, aimed at aiding young people in Jackson get more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing on their on their own terms, in their own communities. Kiese Laymon was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2022.


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