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If You Knew Then What I Know Now

About the Book

If You Knew Then What I Know Now

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. In 14 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.

If You Knew Then What I Know Now
by Ryan Van Meter

  • Publication Date: April 5, 2011
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Sarabande Books
  • ISBN-10: 1932511946
  • ISBN-13: 9781932511949