I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac

Jamie Iredell. Future Tense (www.futuretensebooks.com), $12 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-892061-46-1
The first collection of essay from poet and fiction writer Iredell (The Books of Freaks) bounce between three periods from the author's life—often to scrutinizing contemporary culture along with himself. From childhood as one of the "white kids" in the artichoke fields of Salinas, California, to boozy post-college life in Reno and Atlanta or cozy fatherhood, Iredell's unflinching candor cuts a bantering, conversational style throughout. "I've always been one who is great at lying to others, but likes to face the truth about himself," Iredell deadpans in the essay "Fat." He often offers intimate glimpses of parenthood such as in "Dear Kinsey," the rousing letter written for his daughter when she's older in which Iredell evaluate de Beauvoir's The Second Sex. Essays like "The Most Disgusting Things I Did While I Was A Smoker" and "Never Pay for a Cab This Way if You Can Help It" read less like cautionary tales than chronicles of the evolution of "Dear Old Dad" without syrupy morals. Such introspection often connects to larger themes in which Iredell tackles the modern Catholic Church's stance on gay rights and a survivalist need for superheroes in the wake of tragedy. An entertaining and insightful collection often interested in the messy and difficult aspects of life. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/2014
Release date: 11/01/2013
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