Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times
Notable Book | Lambda Literary Award Winner | Long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award
Universally praised on its publication, Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a pioneering journalist’s indelible coming-of-age tale.
Charles M. Blow’s mother was a fiercely driven woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, and a job plucking poultry at a factory near their segregated Louisiana town, where slavery's legacy felt close. When her philandering husband finally pushed her over the edge, she fired a pistol at his fleeing back, missing every shot, thanks to “love that blurred her vision and bent the barrel.” Charles was the baby of the family, fiercely attached to his “do-right” mother. Until one day that divided his life into Before and After — the day an older cousin took advantage of the young boy. The story of how Charles escaped that world to become one of America’s most innovative and respected public figures is a stirring, redemptive journey that works its way into the deepest chambers of the heart.
“In this irresistible story of the journalist as a besieged boy and determined young man, one of the nation's foremost social critics bares his soul and speaks his mind with redemptive clarity." Michael Eric Dyson
"No one who reads this book will be able to forget it....more than a personal triumph; it is a true gift to us all." Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
"Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a luminous memoir that digs deep into territory I've longed to read about in black men's writing...I believe both Ancestors and Descendants will cheer." Alice Walker
About the Author
Charles M. Blow has been columnist at the New York Times since 2008, and he appears regularly on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and HBO. Blow lives in Brooklyn with his three children and was recently named 11th most influential African American in the world by The Root magazine.