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“One of the strongest literary debuts I’ve witnessed in years…Kenny Porpora is an important new voice among us.” — Andre Dubus III
Every autumn, Kenny Porpora would watch his heartbroken mother scribble messages on balloons and release them into the sky above Long Island, one for each family member they’d lost to addiction. As the number of balloons grew, his mother fell deeper into alcoholism, drinking away her sorrows every night in front of the television, where her love of Regis Philbin provided a respite from the sadness around her.
When their house was foreclosed upon, Kenny’s mother absconded with him and his beloved dog and fled for the Arizona desert, joining her heroin-addicted brother on a quixotic search for a better life. What followed was an outlaw adolescence spent in constant upheaval surrounded by bizarre characters and drug-addicted souls.
In the wake of unspeakable loss, Kenny convinced a college to take a chance on him, and turned to the mentors, writers, and poets he found to rebuild the family he lost, and eventually graduated from the Ivy League with a new life.
“Four stars…a brilliant debut…” — USA Today
“…Porpora is able, almost miraculously, to find love in the spaces between the pain…” — Newsday
10 Books To Take On Your Next Road Trip — Yahoo!
“…a heart-wrenching-yet-hopeful story…” — New York Daily News
“[A] piercing first book…” — Kirkus Reviews
“Must-read…an unusual coming-of-age story, written with humor.” — New York Post
“…Alarmingly engrossing….a memoir that should be moved to the top of everyone’s to-read list immediately…” — Lambda Literary Review
“…He has crafted a story that slowly, and then quickly, unfurled in my hands as though I had been waiting years for It….” — The Rumpus
“…Emotionally wrenching…” — The Windy City Times
“…Kenny Porpora lived an outlaw childhood…” — ThriveWire
Best Audiobook of the Week — Books on the Nightstand