February 1, 2021

Gabriel Bump

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and GrubStreet welcome award-winning writer GABRIEL BUMP for the paperback release of his debut novel, Everywhere You Don't Belong. He will be joined in conversation by NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH, author of the acclaimed story collection Friday Black


In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude isn’t dangerous or brilliant—he’s an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home.

Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.

Percolating with fierceness and originality, attuned to the ironies inherent in our twenty-first-century landscape, Everywhere You Don’t Belong marks the arrival of a brilliant young talent.

About Author(s)

Gabriel Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Slam magazine, the Huffington PostSpringhouse Journal, and other publications. He was awarded the 2016 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction and the 2020 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His first novel, Everywhere You Don’t Belong, was a New York Times Notable Book. He lives in Buffalo, New York.

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has an MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including GuernicaPrinter’s Row, and The Breakwater Review, where ZZ Packer awarded him the Breakwater Review Fiction Prize. He lives in Syracuse, New York.