cover image All Who Belong May Enter

All Who Belong May Enter

Nicholas Ward. Autumn House, $17.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-938769-96-2

Ward writes about coming of age as a white man with an awareness of racial and social injustice in his candid debut essay collection. The first part, “Boys Always Play at Killing Each Other,” examines the toxic masculine norms embedded in his drunken escapades with friends and describes family relationships he’s lost due to disagreements over political differences. Part two, “No Honest Way to Make A Living” recounts his experiences working in restaurants and theaters, and the compromises and letdowns required to participate in these industries. The third section, “I Can Always Be Found,” dips into friendships and loss, and the relationship that set him “on a path towards understanding the social and political project of whiteness.” Along the way, Ward traces his experiences in the Midwest feeling at odds with the casual racism that surrounded him; his burgeoning awareness of classism and racism made him reconsider things he once enjoyed carefree, such as baseball, a pastime he loved and watched with his father but now sees “as a tool of US imperialism and nationalism.” Well observed and curious, these essays will appeal to readers who, like Ward, are sensitive to inequality but unsure how to combat it. (Oct.)