Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays (Hardcover)
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From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.
“Pop culture-obsessed, Sedaris-level laugh-out-loud funny . . . R. Eric Thomas is one of my favorite writers.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda, Entertainment Weekly
R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went—whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city—he found himself on the outside looking in.
In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Eric redefines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience. He explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents’ house was an anomalous bright spot, and the verdant school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election, and the seismic changes that came thereafter. Ultimately, Eric seeks the answer to these ever more relevant questions: Is the future worth it? Why do we bother when everything seems to be getting worse? As the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways, Eric finds the answers to these questions by re-envisioning what “normal” means and in the powerful alchemy that occurs when you at last place yourself at the center of your own story.
Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has ever felt pushed to the margins, struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it—the future may surprise you.
About the Author
R. Eric Thomas (he/him/his) is a senior staff writer at Elle online where he has written the daily pop culture and politics humor column “Eric Reads the News” since 2016. He’s also been published by The New York Times, among many other publications. As a playwright, his work has been seen on stages around the country; he won the Barrymore Award and the Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award and was a finalist for the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association New Play Award. Off the page, he is the long-running host of The Moth StorySlams in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. He lives in Baltimore with his extraordinary husband, the Reverend David Norse Thomas, and an out-of-control collection of succulents, candles, and tote bags. Here for It is his first book.
“I got to read an early copy of Here for It, and I chortled on pretty much every page but I was also moved. . . . He’s one of the funniest writers on this internet. Thank you, Maestro.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda
“If I were stocking a time capsule to show future generations how it felt to be alive at this exact moment in American culture, this is the book I’d toss in first. Readers of all stripes will relate to Thomas’s hilarious, touching observations on love, success, and identity. I adore this book.”—Mary Laura Philpott, author of I Miss You When I Blink