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Among the Bloodpeople: Politics & Flesh


Concerns with human rights, political oppression, sexuality, race, and Jamaican culture thematically connect these essays.

$15.95 $11.96

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What people are saying…

Named a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Nonfiction!

Included in the 2014 Over the Rainbow list

Selected by Publishers Weekly as a Pick of the Week (July 1st, 2013)!

Selected by The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing as a Best Book of 2013

“This collection is wide-ranging, moving from the Caribbean (Jamaica in particular) to Cambridge, England, and from poetry to sex to discrimination.”
Library Journal (BEA Editors’ Picks feature)

“A profound compassion for racial and sexual minorities, the oppressed, and the colonized, informs [Glave’s] searing, beautifully evocative collection of essays . . . He captures the languor and seductiveness of Jamaica . . . A graceful and original stylist, Glave highlights the marginalized—calling on the descendants of people who toiled for the Empire as slaves and colonial subjects to never forget their past, and, in effect, to those who profit from that past to acknowledge their complicity. Ultimately, his work is critical, yet filled with generosity and compassion.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Thomas Glave surely is one of the bravest of contemporary authors . . . He is a fearless truth-teller whose essays in Among the Bloodpeople are fully, unhesitatingly engaged with his and our world.”
New York Journal of Books

“This is a collection that will leave you with chills; you will return to it not only for its sheer beauty, but also for its raw honesty, pain, and passion.”
Lambda Literary Report

“Glave writes beautifully . . . his . . . voice deserves our attention.”
The Gay & Lesbian Review

“A wonderful anthology, interspersing personal essays with more academic-leaning articles.”

“Glave remarks on the state of an island as he sees it, and of a people whose legacies bear out in astonishing ways, employing prose that soothes while its subject matter sears genteel sensibilities.”
Caribbean Beat

“Glave crosses boundaries of genre and community, speaking with extraordinary candor and vulnerability variously as the American son of immigrants, as a Jamaican, as a professor, as a queer boy from the Bronx . . . What unifies these identities and these essays is the ferocity of Glave’s voice, his sentences that can feel like living, untamed things.”
Towleroad: A Site with Homosexual Tendencies

“I didn’t know [homosexuals in Jamaica] were disemboweled with machetes. And I didn’t consider one could be poetic about fear and anger and isolation. But the touchingly phrased sentences don’t soften the impact of reading about murder and political corruption. Instead, it eats at you because it makes you attentive to every word, feel the pauses as Glave takes a breath and speaks with the pulse of his heartbeat.”
Reeling and Writhing and Fainting in Coils

“With Among the Bloodpeople, [Glave] has given us a book as beautiful as it is necessary.”
Next Magazine

“After stunning readers with his story collections Whose Song? and The Torturer’s Wife, the O. Henry- and multiple Lammy-winner now returns to nonfiction in Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh.”
Band of Thebes

“Glave’s texts examine themselves, change course, and raise questions about their own assertions. Glave’s hatred of oppression is balanced by his love of writing.”

“A sensitive, sharp set of intelligences—intellectual, to be sure, but prevailingly emotional, too—reside in the makeup of these essays . . . these pieces are moulded in resistance, bolstered by history, suffused in poetry: each of them is a delight.”
Paper Based Bookshop blog

“Glave’s prose is a thing of poetry, passion, beauty, and clarity in its compelling appeal for the space of human love and tolerance. A joy to read.”
—Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, author of Dreams in a Time of War

“Glave’s voice resonates in the plucked string holding each sentence together, an echo of James Baldwin and Jean Genet; his language carries the full freight of witness . . . His language is seductive and regenerative, critical and humanizing, almost mathematically gauged and encompassing, and it never fails to hold us accountable. But alongside the terror we witness, moments of sheer beauty seethe out of the landscape—not as a balm, but as needful epistles of reflection . . . Glave has done a heroic deed.”
—Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Neon Vernacular

“Glave is a gifted stylist . . . blessed with ambition, his own voice, and an impressive willingness to dissect how individuals actually think and behave.”
New York Times Book Review

Critical Praise for Whose Song? and Other Stories by Thomas Glave:

“Glave’s literary temperament has been described as ‘Faulknerian,’ and the comparison speaks volumes. He achieves astonishing tonal effects . . . [and] has a poet’s way with words.”
Washington Post

“[Glave is] an extraordinary stylist, whose rare insight, boundless courage, and fierce imagination make these stories resound long after you turn the last page . . . [His] intense prose recalls the rhythmic narrative thrust of early Toni Morrison.”
Village Voice

“Thomas Glave has the strong talent and courage to take up the right to enter the inner selves of both black and white characters in his stories. This is a creative claim beyond ‘authenticity’ determined by skin color. He also has that essential writer’s ear for the way different people speak within their cultures, and what their idiom gives away of their inhibitions and affirmations.”
—Nadine Gordimer

“In this collection of short stories Thomas Glave walks the path of such greats in American literature as Richard Wright and James Baldwin while forging new ground of his own. His voice is strong and his technique dazzling as he cuts to the bone of what it means to be black in America, white in America, gay in America, and human in the world at large. These stories span the globe of the human experience and the human heart. They are brutal in some places, tender in others, but always honestly told. A true talent of the 21st century.”
—Gloria Naylor

“This collection of short stories is heartstopping, reminiscent of Richard Wright’s Eight Men. The title story ‘Whose Song?’ will bring tears to your eyes. It may be as important to this century’s body of literature as Kafka’s Metamorphosis was to the last.”
—Harry Belafonte


With an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa.

Thomas Glave has been admired for his unique style and exploration of taboo, politically volatile topics. The award-winning author’s new collection, Among the Bloodpeople, contains all the power and daring of his earlier writing but ventures even further into the political, the personal, and the secret.

Each essay in the volume reveals a passionate commitment to social justice and human truth. Whether confronting Jamaica’s prime minister on antigay bigotry, contemplating the risks and seductions of “outlawed” sex, exploring a world of octopuses and men performing somersaults in the Caribbean Sea, or challenging repressive tactics employed at the University of Cambridge, Glave expresses the observations of a global citizen with the voice of a poet.

Click here to read an interview with Thomas Glave at Philadelphia Gay News, and here to read an interview with Glave at Lambda Literary Report.

Watch an interview with Thomas and Marc Bernier at BookMarc:


Book Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Published: 7/2/13
  • IBSN: 9781617751707
  • e-IBSN: 9781617751783


THOMAS GLAVE is an O. Henry Award-winning author and was named a Village Voice “Writer on the Verge” in 2000. He is the author of Whose Song? and Other Stories, Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent (Lambda Literary Award winner), The Torturer’s Wife (finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize), and editor of the anthology Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (Lambda Literary Award winner). His most recent work has appeared in the New York Times, the Kenyon Review, and Callaloo. Glave has been the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT, a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, and in 2014 will be the Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick. Among the Bloodpeople: Politics & Flesh is his latest book.

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