Cover Image: Diary of a Misfit

Diary of a Misfit

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC: This is a beautiful, complex book exploring ambiguity, ambivalence, dichotomy. Parks is an accomplished journalist --something I only learned after reading--and she chronicles her slow acceptance of her sexuality, her family and her love for the South while also not feeling welcomed or accepted. Her grandmother, after her mother reacts in horror at the news that she is gay, tells her of a woman who lived as a man: Roy and who was kind. Parks slowly documents and explores Roy's life and in the process explores her own life. At one point, her master's advisor asked if Roy's story is enough for a book--something I did wonder myself. Parks complex relationships with her mother, her grandmother, her extended family, her sexual identity and sense of self are all examined via the life of Roy. Ultimately, the book is a triumph of delving into a story and achieving hard won acceptance while embracing uncertainty and complexity.
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Powerful as this is as a work of memoir alone, this compelling, thoughtful read is equally a thoughtful, interesting exploration of the Deep South, the opioid crisis, being queer in rural poverty in the United States and the practice of journalism. I will be recommending it to our audiences.
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As much as I wanted to like this book, I felt it got bogged down in unnecessary details so often that it became a bit of a slog. I found the writing so unfocused at times that I wasn’t sure whose story was being told or what the purpose of the memoir was.
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Sending book love for Diary of a Misfit. This is a vital read and I appreciate the vulnerability (and gifted storytelling) of Casey Parks.
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Diary of a Misfit 
by Casey Parks 
Pub Date: August 23, 2022
Knopf 
Thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the ARC of this book. 
Part memoir, part sweeping journalistic saga: As Casey Parks follows the mystery of a stranger's past, she is forced to reckon with her own sexuality, her fraught Southern identity, her tortured yet loving relationship with her mother, and the complicated role of faith in her life.
I found this book to be really interesting. Would gender identities be different today?  
Good book! 
4 stars
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I read this incredible book all in one sitting last night. I was completely absorbed in the narration -- and I can't stop thinking about it. I wish I could give all my friends a copy right now. This will be thrust into the hands of many!
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I really wanted more writing about Roy(her/himself) as I read this book.  The author is trying desperately to find out more about their life while also coming to terms with her own sexuality.  The depiction of society during that time period is very realistic.  I found myself thinking that some things have changed regarding gender fluidity but many things have not.  Interesting read.
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