Since I Laid My Burden Down


Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
Amethyst Editions
Publish Date
4.8 X 8.0 X 0.5 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Brontez Purnell has been publishing, performing, and curating in the Bay Area for over ten years. He is author of the cult zine Fag School, frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, and founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, a queer electro indie band that gained national prominence in the mid-2000s, Purnell's other prominent artistic collaborations include his supporting role in the queer independent feature film, I Want Your Love (Dir. Travis Mathews, 2012). He was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum's [email protected] program in 2012, awarded an invitation to the 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by Out Magazine's 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List, and most recently won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian's Goldie for Performance/Music. His previous books include one graphic novel (with illustrator Janelle Hessig) The Cruising Diaries (Gimme Action), and a novella Johnny Would You Love Me (if My Dick Were Bigger) (Rudos and Rubes).


"More layered insight than the page count should allow." --MTV News

"A rich tapestry of intense character study." --Art in America magazine

"One of the most unflinching and bone-true things you'll read all year." --Fiction Advocate

"An antidote to the rigamarole of gay lit." --Mask magazine

"A complex. . .look at one man's experience of being black, queer, smart, soft, tough, artistic, and constantly in motion between rural and urban cultures." --Kirkus Reviews

"Performance artist Purnell beautifully captures a personality through introspection and memory in this slim novel. . . . a compelling portrait of a particular disaffected kind of gay youth caught between religion, culture, and desire." --Publishers Weekly

"It's a true novel, chaptered, and bound, that not only holds its own as queer literature, with its unapologetically misanthropic narrative, but also expands upon it." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Slim yet potently realized, with a lot to ponder." --The Bay Area Reporter

"An artist of many talents, from writing to dance, Purnell shows in his debut novel a strong control of language coupled with a willingness to take risks." --Rain Taxi

"Told like a punk rock Capote, this story of returning home has personality for days."--BKLYN BookMatch: Our 50 Favorite Books from 2017

"This is the book you fall asleep reading and wake up excited to get back to. A Cult Masterpiece with so many memorable characters and phrases you'll want to grab strangers and read paragraphs to them." --Kathleen Hanna

"I have always admired Brontez Purnell's writing, and this novel is his greatest achievement yet. Purnell is never careful, never evasive. He hits you with honesty, passion, painful humor and never stops." --Mike Albo, author of Hornitio

"Brontez Purnell is foul-mouthed and evil. Be warned: this book will make you cackle out loud like you've got the Devil inside you then it will break your heart. Be careful where you read it. BUT DO READ IT." --Justin Vivian Bond

"Since I Laid My Burden Down is a dance between grit and eloquence. With epic detail and crude truth, Brontez Purnell reminds us that the lessons of survival and love are learned through life's most fucked-up circumstances. Building bridges between tradition, ancestry, Southern punk, blackness and queerness, Brontez has written a story that helps us laugh, grieve, and breathe." --Cristy C. Road, author of Spit and Passion

"Since I Laid My Burden Down has a fearless (sometimes reckless) humor as Brontez Purnell interrogates what it means to be black, male, queer; a son, an uncle, a lover; Southern, punk, and human. An emotional tightrope walk of a book and an important American story rarely, if ever, told." --Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave