My Government Means to Kill Me (Flatiron Books)
A fierce and riveting queer coming-of-age story following the personal and political awakening of a young gay Black man in 1980s New York City, from the television drama writer and producer of The Chi, Narcos, and Bel-Air
Born into a wealthy Black Indianapolis family, Earl “Trey” Singleton III leaves his overbearing parents and their expectations behind by running away to New York City with only a few dollars in his pocket. In the city, Trey meets up with a cast of characters that changes his life forever. He volunteers at a renegade home hospice for AIDS patients, and after being put to the test by gay rights activists, becomes a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Along the way Trey attempts to navigate past traumas and searches for ways to maintain familial relationships—all while seeking the meaning of life amid so much death.
Vibrant, humorous, and fraught with entanglements, Rasheed Newson’s My Government Means to Kill Me is an exhilarating, fast-paced coming-of-age story that lends itself to a larger discussion about what it means for a young gay Black man in the mid-1980s to come to terms with his role in the midst of a political and social reckoning.
Rasheed Newson is a writer and producer of Bel-Air, The Chi, and Narcos. He currently resides in Pasadena, California with his husband and two children. My Government Means to Kill Me is his debut novel.
MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2022 by Bustle, Goodreads, The Boston Globe, LitHub, and more!
“Full of joy and righteous anger, sex and straight talk, brilliant storytelling and humor, Newson has given us the story of Trey, set against the history of 80s queer Black New York, AIDS, and the movements that changed the era. A spectacularly researched Dickensian tale, with vibrant characters and dozens of famous cameos, it is precisely the book we’ve needed for a long time. That—and a rollicking read! What more could you want?” —Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Less
“My Government Means to Kill Me is an action-packed, entertaining inside look at the life of a young political rebel. Written with unflinching tenderness, Newson gives us an honest and compelling portrait of a gay Black man coming of age.” —Matthew A. Cherry, Academy Award-winning director of Hair Love
“Hilarious, heartbreaking, and sexy as all get out.” —Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure
“Fresh, vibrant and utterly unapologetic. Rasheed Newson has written an unforgettable, take-no-prisoners novel alive with humor and full of urgency. Newson’s Trey and his determination to live life on his own terms, even in the face of death all around him, brings into three dimension an era of New York Queer life that, too often, has been flattened and whitewashed by history.” —Xochitl Gonzalez, author of New York Times bestseller Olga Dies Dreaming
"An episodic narrative about learning to navigate the world, this novel is both hilarious and angry." —
The Boston Globe
"This book is a truly unique queer coming-of-age novel." —Buzzfeed
"A powerful story about Trey, a young, gay, Black man in 1980s New York City as he comes of age personally and politically. Newson’s writing is crisp and clear, witty and engrossing—the kind of prose that pulls you in so quickly you’ll miss your subway stop." —CrimeReads