An arresting debut about being young, black and male in today's America.
Both humorous and heart-breaking, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SAVE YOURSELF is a timely debut about sex, race, family and friendship for fans of Junot Diaz and Ta-Nehisi Coates. It explores the lives of four friends from the city of Pawtucket: Rydell, Lazarus, Rakim, and Giovanni, or more affectionately Rye, Dub, Rolls, and G. Once bound together by location and shared experience, their bonds fade and change as their adult lives begin to take different shapes. They are confronted with society's expectations of them, family pressures, and ultimately the way they see themselves - sometimes conforming, sometimes challenging the stereotypes. Ultimately they are trying not to fail themselves and the people they love.
A blistering debut . . . Hilarious and compelling, Holmes offers up a mirror to contemporary society. How Are You Going To Save Yourself is a compassionate and powerful exploration of how race, friendship and sex intersect and the real world consequences of stereotypes. - Independent
Holmes' searing study of masculinity is offset by irresistible heart and biting humour - Entertainment Weekly
JM Holmes is not just a new voice but a new force: honest, urgent, compelling, often hilarious, and more often gut-wrenching. In How Are You Going to Save Yourself, he writes with remarkable compassion and intelligence about characters whose own compassion and intelligence sometimes betray them. Comparisons to Junot Diaz and Denis Johnson are perhaps inevitable, but I imagine they'll prove short-lived; in a few years we'll be comparing writers to JM Holmes. - Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers
Buckle up! JM Holmes's debut grabs you with the first sentence anddoesn't let go till it drops you gasping after the last period. This collection offers a tough and heartbreaking vision of masculinity, as powerful as it is uncomfortable. But boy is it worth the ride. - Ayana Mathis, New York Times bestselling author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
J.M. Holmes won the Burnett Howe prize for fiction at Amherst College, received fellowships at the Iowa Writer's Workshop and the Napa Valley Writers' Conference. He's worked in educational outreach in Iowa, Massachusetts and Pawtucket. His stories have appeared in the Paris Review and HOW Journal. How Are You Going To Save Yourself is his debut.