Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Named a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Nonfiction!
Included in the 2014 Over the Rainbow list
Selected by Publishers Weekly as a Pick of the Week (July 1st, 2013)!
Selected by The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing as a Best Book of 2013
"This collection is wide-ranging, moving from the Caribbean (Jamaica in particular) to Cambridge, England, and from poetry to sex to discrimination."
--Library Journal (BEA Editors' Picks feature)
"A profound compassion for racial and sexual minorities, the oppressed, and the colonized, informs [Glave's] searing, beautifully evocative collection of essays...He captures the languor and seductiveness of Jamaica...A graceful and original stylist, Glave highlights the marginalized--calling on the descendants of people who toiled for the Empire as slaves and colonial subjects to never forget their past, and, in effect, to those who profit from that past to acknowledge their complicity. Ultimately, his work is critical, yet filled with generosity and compassion."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Thomas Glave surely is one of the bravest of contemporary authors...He is a fearless truth-teller whose essays in Among the Bloodpeople are fully, unhesitatingly engaged with his and our world."
--New York Journal of Books
"This is a collection that will leave you with chills; you will return to it not only for its sheer beauty, but also for its raw honesty, pain, and passion."
--Lambda Literary Report
"Glave writes beautifully...his...voice deserves our attention."
--The Gay & Lesbian Review
"A wonderful anthology, interspersing personal essays with more academic-leaning articles."
"Glave remarks on the state of an island as he sees it, and of a people whose legacies bear out in astonishing ways, employing prose that soothes while its subject matter sears genteel sensibilities."
"Glave crosses boundaries of genre and community, speaking with extraordinary candor and vulnerability variously as the American son of immigrants, as a Jamaican, as a professor, as a queer boy from the Bronx...What unifies these identities and these essays is the ferocity of Glave's voice, his sentences that can feel like living, untamed things."
--Towleroad: A Site with Homosexual Tendencies
"I didn't know [homosexuals in Jamaica] were disemboweled with machetes. And I didn't consider one could be poetic about fear and anger and isolation. But the touchingly phrased sentences don’t soften the impact of reading about murder and political corruption. Instead, it eats at you because it makes you attentive to every word, feel the pauses as Glave takes a breath and speaks with the pulse of his heartbeat."
--Reeling and Writhing and Fainting in Coils
"With Among the Bloodpeople, [Glave] has given us a book as beautiful as it is necessary."
"After stunning readers with his story collections Whose Song? and The Torturer's Wife, the O. Henry- and multiple Lammy-winner now returns to nonfiction in Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh."
--Band of Thebes
"Glave's texts examine themselves, change course, and raise questions about their own assertions. Glave's hatred of oppression is balanced by his love of writing."
Thomas Glave has been admired for his unique style and exploration of taboo, politically volatile topics. The award-winning author's new collection, Among the Bloodpeople, contains all the power and daring of his earlier writing but ventures even further into the political, the personal, and the secret.
Each essay in the volume reveals a passionate commitment to social justice and human truth. Whether confronting Jamaica's prime minister on antigay bigotry, contemplating the risks and seductions of "outlawed" sex, exploring a world of octopuses and men performing somersaults in the Caribbean Sea, or challenging repressive tactics employed at the University of Cambridge, Glave expresses the observations of a global citizen with the voice of a poet.
disgusting black Africans, even though many of us, if not most, are also black. And lesbian bitches and faggots in Jamaica should know their place because this kind of carrying on, this faggotness and lesbian-ness and simple filthy perversion, is pure wickedness, nastiness, filthiness. It is an abomination (so it has been said). It is a sickness, a white people t’ing, a (to some, to many) satanic t’ing … a t’ing we cannot bear inna dis ya country, Massa God: so annihilate de battyman dem, de
people, have found in J-FLAG a place in Jamaica that they can call “home,” of a kind; a place that they can call their own; a place where, on a day not so different from this one, or one exactly like it, they can sit down, recalling at some point the beauty of our gorgeous bluegreen Caribbean, and actually touch the miracle of their own living flesh, and say, or think, But yes. I exist. I’m alive, here, and that is a good thing. Alive, here, where, at least for now, no one will try to toss acid
for me, conjures them, the living and the dead. Conjures and summons memory. Language that is memory. That is recollection. For aside from the profound love that I feel, feel for this country that yet cannot love me because of who I am and how I love and desire and exist—and in spite of and also alongside the fury that I feel for this country that cannot love me or sometimes even see me because of who I am and how I love and desire—it is here where I most often wish to be, and must be, so that—in
agonizing dreams (more agonizing when you are alone). It would be enough for you to know then in that shared darkness why, yes, why you had always loved him so much. Because yes how lucky I am to have you and to love you and to feel you holding me like this, you would think, saltiness on your face and his face against yours and those arms so about you, holding you, and yours about him. It would be then that you would know that there are times, maybe many times, when people do not have to tell you
… which is exactly what I want, exactly the place I want so much to be: where I am right now and wish to remain, without hesitation or remorse, without warnings or scoldings as, a little later, or perhaps sooner than I expect, I will feel him doing the same to me. For he too will think and feel these things. He too will curl his lip at all those remembered warnings about “safety” as, unimpeded by clear barriers or the constant admonitions of Those Who Know Best, he will move, rock, twist, and