I Felt the End Before It Came: Memoirs of a Queer Ex-Jehovah's Witness


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$24.95  $23.20
Publish Date
5.59 X 8.35 X 0.94 inches | 0.75 pounds
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About the Author

DANIEL ALLEN COX is the author of four novels published by Arsenal Pulp Press, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in Catapult, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, and Maisonneuve. His essay "The Glow of Electrum," which appears in this book, was a finalist for a 2021 National Magazine Award and named a Notable essay in The Best American Essays 2021.


"Elegant . . . [Cox] approaches his subject with emotional nuance, and writes with a mix of self-aware humor and deep insight that sets his project apart from other former believer memoirs. This thoughtful rendering will captivate those with ties to the religious group and literary memoir fans alike."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Daniel knew he was being lied to and lied about. He wanted to listen to his true self, but in order to do so he had to build a self. He did it by loving, by reading, traveling, listening, making art, making love, and learning what a friend is. He decided to live with contradiction, ambiguity, and change. He has been shunned by those posing as perfection and so he discarded the facade of perfection. And because he is a true writer who can convey this complexity with grace, his story inspires us to want to know our own contradictions, to see them as riches instead of shame. In this way our lives become enhanced by both his vulnerability and his gifts."
--Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show

"I Felt the End Before It Came is about a lot of things, but I know of no better exploration of the psychic costs of gaslighting and shunning, especially on the lives of LGBTQ people. This is a book about defying injustice when it presents itself in the form of good, and as in all great books, it offers more questions than answers, not to mention its big courageous heart, part tender, part outrageous, part buoyant."
--Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World

"A hugely entertaining, open-hearted, and insightful memoir. Daniel Allen Cox sheds light on what it means to grow up as a Jehovah's Witness coming to terms with queerness, and how families survive and love one another after being fragmented by a divergence of faith, all while offering a delightful romp through the late 90s gay scene in Montreal and New York. Filled with great humour and moments of tender grace, I Felt the End Before It Came is a joy to read from start to finish."
--Heather O'Neill, author of When We Lost Our Heads

"I Felt the End Before It Came is a candid and beautiful exploration of learning to save yourself from a fundamentalist childhood and the complications that come from the dizzying freedom after you leave its confines. A vital and unique addition to the queer coming-of-age genre."
--Zoe Whittall, author of The Fake

"In this breathtaking spiritual, sexual, and artistic coming-of-age, Daniel Allen Cox troubles and subverts what it means to seek salvation. Deconstructing the paradigms that govern his sense of self, he takes us on a probing and candid journey to find a new language to think with, and into a new definition of paradise."
--Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State

"Daniel Allen Cox opens his heart and his history being brought up in a Jehovah's Witness family in this searingly candid memoir .... Throughout the book, Cox remains an emotional resonant presence, never apologizing for his choices and always adept at discovering new and beautiful facets of himself."
--Bay Area Reporter