Synopses & Reviews
Heartfelt, earnest, and humorous, the essays in Everything We Don't Know, examine the journey of growing up in contemporary America. Gilbreath contemplates the ocean-bound debris from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, his nostalgia for the demolished buildings of his youth, the origins of the word "radical," and more. A deftly-crafted debut from a wise, bold voice.
"Aaron Gilbreath writes the kind of essays I'm always crossing my fingers for when I open a new collection. He grabs the threads of history, nature, pop culture, geography, and travel, and weaves a kind of wild web around the personal essay. Honest, open, deft, and able to turn a phrase like a bad ass—Gilbreath is now on my shortlist of go-to essayists." Amber Sparks, author of The Unfinished World and May We Shed These Human Bodies
"Everything We Don't Know is an electric, funny, and far-reaching collection about Gilbreath’s early loves and misadventures growing up out West. Sometimes ecstatic, sometimes angst-filled, he follows where curiosity leads, anchoring himself in resiliency and feeling, intelligence and humility. The essay "It's Really Something You Should Have Examined," about his girlfriend Abby and his ferret Wiggy, highlights Gilbreath at his quirky and tender best." Marcia Aldrich, author of Girl Rearing and Companion to an Untold Story
"I’ve been jonesing for the next great collection of personal essays, and Aaron Gilbreath’s Everything You Don't Know cures my pangs. Booze, drugs, failed relationships, poverty, knee-jerk travel, desperation, joy, music, and recovery—it’s like a primer on late twentieth/early twenty-first century American living, written with honesty, astuteness, and self-deprecation. I loved this collection." George Singleton, author of Calloustown
"What a great read! Aaron Gilbreath has put together as fine a book of essays as you're likely to find these days. At times I felt as if I could be reading a John Jeremiah Sullivan collection. Aaron Gilbreath's strong, candid, yet insightful first-person narrative is compelling, clearly honest, and frankly, it reminded me of many things I'd prefer to forget, yet did so powerfully enough to keep me coming back for more." James Williamson, guitarist of Iggy and the Stooges
About the Author
Aaron Gilbreath is an essayist, journalist and burrito enthusiast. His essays and articles have appeared in Harper’s, New York Times, Paris Review, Vice, The Morning News, Saveur, Tin House, The Believer, Oxford American, Kenyon Review, Slate, Virginia Quarterly Review, Narratively, and Brick. His essay "\’ra-di-k?l\" from Hotel Amerika is a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013, and "Dreams of the Atomic Era," from the Cincinnati Review, is a Notable in Best American Essays 2011. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Aaron Gilbreath on PowellsBooks.Blog
My current book is a collection of personal essays called Everything We Don't Know
. Told in the first person, each story explores a different part of my life and a different theme: love, fear, aging, parental relationships, searching for meaning, feeling lost. Together, the essays tell my story of growing up in middle class America and how I found my way....