Heavy has a grainy, thrash-music quality to it. On its surface, Anselmi’s story is that of an angry, white-trash kid (he admits this in his book) who never had the chance to fall from grace because grace never lifted him that high; beneath that it’s a book about control, and why destruction equals power for those who feel powerless.
The Paris Review

Heavy

by J.J. Anselmi

In twenty heavy chapters, this book chronicles Anselmi's experiences growing up as a straight edge, BMX-riding metalhead in Rock Springs, Wyoming, a place with one of the highest per capita suicide rates in the United States. His grandpa was a well-known businessman and politician in the area, and was featured in a 1977 60 Minutes episode for his alleged connections to organized crime. This is only the beginning of Anselmi's heavy saga, and it interweaves all of the social and personal history one might expect from a story like this—including Black Sabbath, Pantera, and Metallica logo tattoos, explorations in LSD, metal, and BMX culture, self-loathing and sobriety, and—finally—a very unique perspective on what it means to live in a heavy fucking world.

Rare Bird Books, A Barnacle Book
Paperback, January 26, 2016: 978-1940207506
US $15.95 | Fiction
Also available in ebook formats

J. J. Anselmi teaches undergraduate writing at CSU Fresno, and also works as the assistant nonfiction editor of The Normal School. His work has appeared in Copper NickelJackson Hole ReviewConnotation PressThe A.V. ClubWord Riot, and The Writing Disorder. He lives in Fresno, California.

 

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