T. Geronimo Johnson - HOLD IT ‘TIL IT HURTS
09/20/2012 6:00 pm
“The magnificence of Hold It ‘Til It Hurts is not only in the prose and the story but also in the book's great big beating heart. These complex and compelling characters and the wizardry of Johnson’s storytelling will dazzle and move you from first page to last.”Please join us for a reading and signing with T. Geronimo Johnson featuring his riveting debut novel, HOLD IT ‘TIL IT HURTS.
—ANTHONY SWOFFORD, author of JARHEAD
Johnson is from New Orleans originally and although he now makes his home in Berkeley, he maintains a strong connection to his hometown - and New Orleans figures prominently in the novel. Hold It ‘Til It Hurts is one of the few literary takes on the war in Afghanistan and the veterans who served there. The plot centers around Achilles Conroy and his brother, Troy, whose white adoptive parents decide to provide them with their adoption papers upon their return from serving in the war. After Troy disappears, Achilles—always his brother’s keeper—embarks on a harrowing journey in search of his brother amid the chaos of Hurricane Katrina.
It’s an intense modern day epic, and acts as a starting point for discussions on everything from transracial adoption to contemporary war narratives to portrayals of Hurricane Katrina. National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon recently called it “a novel about war that goes in search of passionate love, a dreamy thriller, a sprawling mystery, a classical quest for a lost brother in which the shadowy quarry is clearly the seeker’s own self, and a meditation on family and racial identity that makes its forerunners in American fiction look innocent by comparison.” And Publishers Weekly has called it a “powerful, stylish debut novel.”
Born in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’Workshop and has taught writing and held fellowships—including a Stegner Fellowship and an Iowa Arts Fellowship—at ASU, Iowa, Berkeley, and Stanford. His writing has appeared in Best New American Voices, the Indiana Review, the LA Review, and Illuminations, among others. He has worked on, at, or in brokerages, kitchens, construction sites, phone rooms, education non-profits, writing centers, summer camps, ladies’ shoe stores, nightclubs, law firms, offset print shops, and San Quentin. He is also a Niroga certified yoga instructor and trained rally driver. This is his first novel.