NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
USA TODAY BESTSELLER
Winner of the New England Book Award for Nonfiction
“The best of what memoir can accomplish… pulling no punches on the path to truth, but it always finds the capacity for grace and joy.” –Esquire
, “Best Memoirs of the Year”
Must-Read Book of the Year * A Rolling Stone
Top Culture Pick * A Publishers Weekly
Best Memoir of the Season * A Buzzfeed
Book Pick * A Goodreads Readers’ Most Anticipated Book * A Chicago Tribune
Book Pick * A Boston.com Book You Should Read * A Los Angeles Times
Book to Add to Your Reading List * An Entertainment Weekly
Best Book of the Month
Isaac Fitzgerald has lived many lives. He’s been an altar boy, a bartender, a fat kid, a smuggler, a biker, a prince of New England. But before all that, he was a bomb that exploded his parents’ lives–or so he was told. In Dirtbag, Massachusetts
, Fitzgerald, with warmth and humor, recounts his ongoing search for forgiveness, a more far-reaching vision of masculinity, and a more expansive definition of family and self.
Fitzgerald’s memoir-in-essays begins with a childhood that moves at breakneck speed from safety to violence, recounting an extraordinary pilgrimage through trauma to self-understanding and, ultimately, acceptance. From growing up in a Boston homeless shelter to bartending in San Francisco, from smuggling medical supplies into Burma to his lifelong struggle to make peace with his body, Fitzgerald strives to take control of his own story: one that aims to put aside anger, isolation, and entitlement to embrace the idea that one can be generous to oneself by being generous to others.
Gritty and clear-eyed, loud-hearted and beautiful, Dirtbag, Massachusetts
is a rollicking book that might also be a lifeline.