"Like no other book I have read. It will entertain you as it crushes you." - Martha Amore, Editor of Lambda Literary Nominated Building Fires in the Snow
"Frank and insightful...An affecting and surprising remembrance about the responsibilities of parents and children." - Kirkus Reviews
"Quirky humor, bright language, and sharp emotional insight." - Joe Okonkwo, author of Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction winner Jazz Moon
Matt Caprioli never belonged in Alaska: too gay, too bookish, a faltering vegetarian. As a spiritual and sensitive young boy, he's raised by the exuberant and radiant but deeply impractical Abby Henry, who doesn't view his baptism in a horse trough or machete marks on their new apartment door as peculiar. Abby works as a baker in Anchorage, so the two leave Lazy Mountain each morning at 3:30am to drive through single-digit weather in a rickety, church-donated Mustang with no passenger window, no snow tires, and one headlight. Lacking money and direction, Caprioli nonetheless adores his mother and the world they share.
As a young man, Caprioli leaves Alaska to chase his dream of writing in Manhattan, along the way working as a journalist and sex worker. His bond with his mother is tested as Caprioli tries to forget where he comes from. But when Abby falls ill at 53, Caprioli returns to Anchorage to care for her, and is forced to reckon with the true meaning of home.
In telling his story, Caprioli captures the love and joy of our deepest bonds, of the myths and hopes surrounding America's largest state, and the momentous power of a quiet drive with those we love.
MATT CAPRIOLI is a queer Alaskan/NYC-based creative writer and Lecturer in the English Department of Lehman College, City University of New York. His creative and academic work explores subversion, sexuality, intimacy, and mixed-raced identity. His essays and fiction have appeared in Epiphany, Breadcrumbs, Opossum Literary, Best Gay Stories 2017, and Newtown Literary. As a journalist, he was a regular contributor to Anchorage Press and The Red Hook Star-Revue. He holds an MFA from Hunter College and is pursuing an MBA at Baruch College. Born in California in 1990, Caprioli now lives in Astoria, Queens with his partner, Adam.