November 14, 2022 7:53 AM EST

“To any young men out there who aren’t too far gone,” writes Isaac Fitzgerald, “I say you’re not done becoming yourself.” In Dirtbag, Massachusetts, Fitzgerald traces his life story from birth to a happy but poor early childhood in urban Boston to a more violent and chaotic later childhood in the countryside. Readers watch him grow through anger and angst—in rural Massachusetts, San Francisco, New York City, and Burma—to reckon with the toxic masculinity that was instilled in him. This memoir-in-essays digs to the core of American manhood with both raunch and sincerity. —Laura Zornosa

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