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Gabriel Bump Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Everywhere You Don't Belong (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Gabriel Bump is a renowned American writer of literary fiction, contemporary, and cultural stories. He has recently started his writing career and written his first book, Everywhere You Don’t Belong. Bump has received motivating inputs from his family and friends for his work and is hopeful of writing many more novels in the future. Several critics and renowned reviewers have praised his effort in coming up with his first book. Author Bump was brought up in South Shore, Chicago. He began showing interest in fiction and nonfiction stories as he grew up. Bump even wrote a few of his original stories that have appeared in several popular magazines such as The Huffington Post, Slam magazine, Springhouse Journal, etc. One of his fiction works has won the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in 2016. Before deciding to step into the world of writing, Bump earned an MFA in fiction writing from the Massachusetts University, Amherst.

As of today, Bump resides in Buffalo, New York. His debut novel has given a good start to his career and the people around him are confident that he is going to have a great career in the coming years. Bump says that it is a risky and elusive thing to try something like being funny while describing a story about sad things like loss and trauma in a work of literature. He believes his novel is a rare one that maintains the appropriate balance between levity and heaviness. His book describes a comically dark story revolving around life in Chicago’s South Side. There is a fine social commentary with seamless weaving in a non-self-righteous way. Bump’s novel follows the life and struggles of a South Shore boy named Claude after his parents abandon him. He is then brought up by his grandmother and a man named Paul, who is his grandmother’s friend. The childhood sections of Claude’s life are infused into the story with tender innocence and aching.

Wherever the narration has tended to get more sentimental, Bump has added humor to make the story look interesting. The novel’s emotional intensity is propelled by its pace. Readers get drawn in quickly with the short chapters described by author Bump. He has mentioned different layers of Claude’s characters that run through the entire book. In the middle of all the chaos, there is a beautiful, simple and plain love story that blossoms between Janice and Claude. The intimacy between the two is shown in the silences. After reading this book, many critics have said that it would not do justice to the novel by seeing it as a political one because of the various depictions of gang violence, police action, and the ill-treatment of the blacks. The book is actually a personal account of author Bump’s meditation on the topic of belonging & not belonging.

Bump received huge praise for keeping his novel true in every sense. He has not tried to spice it up by adding too many things. All these factors have resulted in the book’s worldwide success and are still going strong. Those who have read this book have already become a fan of author Bump. Subsequently, Bump has succeeded in forming a good fan base for himself in very little time. The numbers are expected to go up as the years pass by. Author Bump is grateful for the love and support showed to his book by readers and critics alike. It has motivated him to such an extent that he has already started working on his next novel. The Algonquin Books has signed a two-book contract with him, which is seen as a great accomplishment for a newcomer like him.

The debut book written by author Gabriel Bump is entitled ‘Everywhere You Don’t Belong’. It was released by the Algonquin Books publication in February 2020. The central characters featured in this novel include Claude McKay Love, Bubbly, Jonah, Janet, Nugget, Paul, Janice, and a few others. Initially, Claude McKay is introduced as a normal kid. He is not brilliant or dangerous, just an average child trying to cope with abandonment, failed love, societal pressures, riots, and violence. While dealing with all these, he steers past the different stages of youth: basketball tryouts, childhood friends, first love, heartbreak, college selection, and moving away from his home. All the while, Claude McKay only looks to find a place where he could feel that he can easily fit. His grandmother from the civil rights era raises him in the South Side and tries to help him become a responsible man.

Being a black man, Claude has always feared getting wrongly framed. When the neighborhood gets consumed in riots, Claude hesitates in taking sides. He seems unwilling to let his life defined by race. When Claude is unable to see things not falling in places, he decides to move out of Chicago and take shelter in a different place where he won’t be targeted for being black. Claude hopes to find a place with a good college that will help him shape his identity. He is desperate to leave behind the pressure cooker situation of his hometown. But, Claude McKay discovers that he cannot succeed in his place because there is no safe place for black people in America. Bump has shown Claude McKay as a brave and sensitive boy. He is smart, but fearful because of being black. Readers loved the character of Claude McKay and all the others as well. All of them look believable and interesting.

The first half of the novel reads like a collection of short stories, but the second half picks up very well. Author Bump has connected the two parts well. Most of the critics praised the book and recommended it for those who like to read dark, quirky, fast-paced, and edgy stories. Bump’s setting of the plot at the time of the Obama administration also adds to the book’s authenticity. The racial integrity and humor elements added by Bump make the novel even more interesting to read. Overall, the novel is about making tough choices, knowing, surviving, and believing. It gives important lessons about life to everyone.

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