Folarin delivers a remarkably mature narrator, who must make peace with his past and navigate racial realities in the U.S. He wrestles with the shadows cast by both home-brewed racism and vestiges of colonialism imported from Nigeria.
Folarin is attentive to the ways in which mental illness and the particular crises of poverty, immigration and Blackness can dovetail, and how communal silence and shame can magnify one rupture into many ... The novel moves among literary modes and registers, its formal elasticity reflecting the ways in which Folarin’s protagonist situates himself in the world, as the narrow, first-person lens of the early childhood chapters gives way to anxiously diaristic teenage years ...The dilemmas of diaspora as they intersect with masculinity have corrosive effects on not just selfhood but intimacy; in this Folarin is working in an American tradition with many literary forebears ... what emerges most clearly in its pages is a study of the particulate self, the self as a constellation of moving parts. By the book’s denouement, there are no simple resolutions; only encounters, fragile connections, the mere suggestions of answers.
...a powerful story that is equal parts loneliness and hope ... While juggling themes of the struggles of immigrant families and the effect of parental mental illness, Folarin plays with structure and pacing, sometimes filling a page with only one poignant line ... It’s an insightful and moving novel, through and through.