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There Will Be No Miracles Here
Cover of There Will Be No Miracles Here
There Will Be No Miracles Here
A Memoir
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NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2018 BY NPR, THE NEW YORK TIMES AND POP SUGARA PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB PICK"Somehow Casey Gerald has pulled off the most urgently political, most deeply personal, and...
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2018 BY NPR, THE NEW YORK TIMES AND POP SUGARA PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB PICK"Somehow Casey Gerald has pulled off the most urgently political, most deeply personal, and...
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  • NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2018 BY NPR, THE NEW YORK TIMES AND POP SUGAR
    A PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB PICK
    "Somehow Casey Gerald has pulled off the most urgently political, most deeply personal, and most engagingly spiritual statement of our time by just looking outside his window and inside himself. Extraordinary." - Marlon James
    "Staccato prose and peripatetic storytelling combine the cadences of the Bible with an urgency reminiscent of James Baldwin in this powerfully emotional memoir." - BookPage
    The testament of a boy and a generation who came of age as the world came apart—a generation searching for a new way to live.

    Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year's Eve 1999, when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather's black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey—following in the footsteps of his father, a gridiron legend who literally broke his back for the team—is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he's never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. He sees how the elite perpetuate the salvation stories that keep others from rising. And he sees, most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme.
    There Will Be No Miracles Here has the arc of a classic rags-to-riches tale, but it stands the American Dream narrative on its head. If to live as we are is destroying us, it asks, what would it mean to truly live? Intense, incantatory, shot through with sly humor and quiet fury, There Will Be No Miracles Here inspires us to question—even shatter—and reimagine our most cherished myths.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2018

    Raised in his grandfather's black evangelical church, sometimes with only his mother's disability checks supporting the family, Gerald played football at Yale, received a Harvard MBA, then cofounded MBAs Across America to help young entrepreneurs. His Harvard B school commencement address made news for its eloquence, so expect great writing.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2018
    A memoir of a religious, gay black man coming to terms with his own nuanced achievement of the American dream in the new millennium.The narrative opens in 1999, with the 12-year-old author waiting for the end, praying nervously in his grandfather's evangelical church before the turn of the millennium: "Lord, please take me with You when You come. That is all I have to ask of God, and I will get my answer soon. It is 11:57." When midnight passes without incident, the meaning of the book's title becomes manifest. The son of a star quarterback, Gerald grew up on the poor side of Dallas, where he also excelled at football, and he soon moved on to the distant planets of higher education and elite society. As he writes, "I have been so many things along my curious journey: a poor boy, a nigger, a Yale man, a Harvard man, a faggot, a Christian, a crack baby (alleged), the spawn of Satan, the Second Coming, Casey." The author deftly navigates through the events shaping those identities: the months of his first true romance, his time at Yale and Harvard Business School, where he earned a master's degree in business and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist; Wall Street; and a stint in Washington, D.C., on the strong career advice to "be a special assistant to someone at the top." Along the way, Gerald examines the subtext underlying the clashing realities of his experiences and observations. "[I was] a boy defined by his circumstances," the author writes in nearly the middle of the well-paced narrative, "perhaps we all are--just seven billion Eves made from the rib of our Adam-circumstance--but why do we lie about it? Why don't we want to believe it? Is it that it shames us to admit how limited our power is, how much we can submit--have submitted--to the things we did not choose?"Hardly a by-the-numbers memoir, this is a powerful book marked by the author's refreshingly complicated and insightful storytelling.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2019

    When the author was 12, he waited for the Rapture at his paternal grandfather's church in Dallas on New Year's Eve in 1999. The new millennium arrived, but the world did not end. Gerald's father, Rod, a former college football hero, fell from grace, succumbing to drugs and prison life. The author's mother, Debra, had mental health issues and was in and out of his life. Gerald and his older sister, Tashia, lived off their mother's disability checks. He became a varsity football star at South Oak Cliff High School and was recruited to play football on a scholarship at Yale. He entered the educational and political echelons of society, navigating power lunches, secret societies, and success on Wall Street and Washington, DC and overseas. But Gerald soon becomes aware of social inequalities. He also struggles with his burgeoning sexuality, disillusionment, and loneliness at the top. This memoir moves away from the tropes of the American dream and "succeeding against the odds." Biblical and literary references are threaded throughout. Gerald's love for American political and cultural history is astounding. Some readers will find parts hard to read, especially given the use of the N word and Gerald's portrayal as the anti-poster child of the LGBTQ communities. VERDICT An eye-opening purchase for mature teens.-Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from September 1, 2018
    Gerald opens his memoir by describing himself at age 12, sitting in a church pew in great anticipation of the impending Rapture. When the clock turns and 1999 becomes 2000 and he and his fellow congregants remain, is he relieved, or disappointed? Gerald then looks back at the beginning, as he remembers it. His mother struggled with mental illness and disappeared before he was a teenager, while addiction gripped his father, an Ohio State football legend, leaving Gerald in the rotating care of his fierce older sister, his grandmothers, and other family and friends in his Dallas neighborhood. He became a star student and football player in high school before excelling, on the field and off, at Yale, where his accent and baggy clothes are the first, and not nearly the last, things that separate him from his peers. Gerald pulls no punches in telling his extraordinary story, which he relates with unsparing truth, no small amount of feeling, and a complete lack of sentimentality. Painful lessons dart in and pummel his unsuspecting self, and scenes of startling intensity are often pierced?and pieced back together?by light and humor. Also an accomplished public speaker, Gerald will hook readers with richly layered writing on poverty, progress, race, belief, and the actual American Dream.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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