United States of Grace: A Memoir of Homelessness, Addiction, Incarceration, and Hope
This lyrical testament to life as 'a blind date with mercy' will challenge and inspire. --Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]
In 1991, when he was thirteen years old, Lenny Duncan stepped out of his house in West Philadelphia, walked to the Greyhound station, and bought a ticket--the start of his great American adventure. But little did he know that his great American adventure would include a winding path through sex work and drug deals, prison, and eventually ministry and social justice activism.
Now out in paperback with a new afterword, Duncan brings us his deeply personal story about growing up Black and queer in the US. In his characteristically powerful voice, he recounts hitchhiking across the country, spending time in solitary confinement, battling for sobriety, and discovering a deep faith, examining pressing issues like poverty, mass incarceration, white supremacy, and LGBTQ inclusion through an intimate portrayal of his life's struggles and joys. United States of Grace is a love story about America, revealing the joy and resilience of places in this country that many call the margins but that Lenny Duncan has called home. Fierce and incisive, Duncan challenges us and America to seek life out of death. I was born starving for the good, he writes, and this country can be a feast of good if we open ourselves up to it.
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About the Author
Lenny Duncan (they/them) is a writer, speaker, scholar, and media producer working at the forefront of racial justice in America. Lenny is the author of Dear Church and United States of Grace and co-creator of the podcast BlackBerryJams with PRX. A PhD student in historical and cultural studies of religion, Lenny is currently investigating the theft of African spiritual thought by white American Esotericism. Lenny is originally from West Philadelphia, has hitchhiked thousands of miles on American byways, and now makes their home in the Pacific Northwest.