Everywhere You Don’t Belong

Presented By
Gabriel Bump, Kaite Stover

A lot of Black kids, Gabriel Bump says, are just trying to live their lives – fall in love, go to school, not do their homework – but find it difficult to move problem-free through today’s America. Growing up on Chicago’s South Shore, he was one of them. Claude McKay Love, the protagonist of Bump’s debut novel, is, too. 

Everywhere You Don’t Belong has drawn critical praise for its portrayal of an African American youth on Chicago’s South Shore who’s unexceptional by society’s traditional measures but kind and empathetic and trying to figure out exactly where he fits in the world. Bump, through Claude, deftly reckons with some of today’s weightier matters: activism, social change, Black identity. 

Bump discusses the book and the elements of his life that influenced its writing, joining the Library’s Kaite Stover in an online presentation. 

Like his protagonist, Bump grew up on the South Shore and broke away to study journalism (and in Bump’s case sociology) at the University of Missouri. He earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for Huffington PostSlam, and Springhouse Journal, among other publications. He lives in Buffalo, New York, teaching at the Just Buffalo Literary Center and the State University of New York at Buffalo. 

Stover is the Library’s longtime director of readers' services.


Everywhere You Don’t Belong

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