credit: Melissa Dale Neal
Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children's book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Writers' Award for Fiction and the 2022 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Robert Rauschenberg Award, he was named one of the thirty-two Black Male Writers of Our Time by T: The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, a cofounder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and the documentary Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock. Born in Triana, Alabama, he's lived in Oakland, California, for more than a decade.
"This hurricane of delirious, lonely, lewd tales is a taxonomy and grand unified theory of the boyfriend, in every tense . . . Paragraphs run quick and cool, like stacked ice cubes . . . [a] feeling of eternal recurrence is beautifully by design, it is the very argument of the book . . . All these desires, these imperatives, lodge themselves into that little word 'boyfriend,' into fantasies of men past and present, into those ghosts, who prove so necessary."