Born and raised in the heart of old Dixie, D’aron Davenport is a small-town fish floundering in the depths of a large, hyper-liberal pond of UC Berkeley. Everything changes in his American History class, when D’aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War re-enactment. His announcement is met with righteous indignation, and inspires a ‘performative intervention’. Armed with youthful self-importance, makeshift slave costumes, righteous zeal and their own misguided ideas about the South, D’aron and his three idiosyncratic best friends descend on Braggsville. Their journey through backwoods churches, backroom politics, Waffle Houses and drunken family barbecues is uproarious to start, but will have devastating consequences.
A literary coming-of-age novel for a new generation, written with keen wit, tremendous social insight and a unique, generous heart, Welcome to Braggsville reminds us of the promise and perils of youthful exuberance, while painting an indelible portrait of contemporary America.
Reviews of Welcome to Braggsville
‘The most dazzling, most unsettling, most oh-my-God-listen-up novel you’ll read this year. T. Geronimo Johnson plays cultural criticism like it’s acid jazz. His shockingly funny story pricks every nerve of the American body politic. Welcome to Braggsville. It’s about time.’ The Washington Post
‘Full of virtuosic sentences and coruscating satire … a brilliant and necessary read’ Buzzfeed, Books of the Year
Audacious, unpredictable, exuberant and even tragic, in the most classic meaning of the word . . . A heady mix of satire and hyperbole. At times, Welcome to Braggsville reads like a literary hybrid of David Foster Wallace and Colson Whitehead.’ Los Angeles Times Book Review
‘As daring a literary high-wire act as has come along in some time … Frequently and unabashedly funny … A volatile mix of stinging satire, linguistic pyrotechnics and heartbreaking narrative.’ San Francisco Chronicle
‘A rollicking satire … Radical, hilarious, tragic, and all too relevant’ O Magazine
‘Ghastly and funny and gloriously provocative … Johnson’s prose is by turns scathing dark humour, soaring lyricism, and a quietly devastating analysis of every species of injustice. The result is a kind of mind-melting poetry – a linguistic electroconvulsive therapy for the reader. This book will wake you up!’ Karen Russell
‘Transcendence is what Geronimo Johnson achieves in this remarkable novel. Every racial assumption is both acknowledged and challenged in ways at times hilarious, at other times poignant. Welcome to Braggsville is ambitious, wise, and brave.’ Ron Rash
‘Surprising, heartbreaking, tragicomic, and deeply disturbing’ Jaimy Gordon
‘As smart as it is subversive, and as bleakly hilarious as it is deeply necessary’ Jennifer du Bois
‘The best and most powerful form of satire; it sets fire to your brain while expanding your heart. Big, shiny literary prizes were created for books like this one’ Wiley Cash