Bones Worth Breaking
In Tongues

Another Word for Love

9780374237820 fc
Hardcover, MCD × FSG, 2024
Releases 05/14/24
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Carvell Wallace

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A transformative memoir that reimagines the conventions of love and posits a radical vision for healing.

We are born, and life breaks us. We spend the rest of our lives trying to put ourselves back together. “To return, to be made whole again. This is another word for love,” writes Carvell Wallace. In Another Word for Love, Wallace excavates layers of his own history, situated in the struggles and beauty of growing up Black and queer in America. What follows could be another narrow story of pain and survival, recounting hurt and centering suffering. But this is not that kind of memoir.

Wallace is an award-winning journalist who has built his career writing unforgettable profiles, bringing a provocative and engaged sensitivity to his subjects. Now he turns the focus on himself, examining his own life and the circumstances that frame it—making sense of seeking refuge from homelessness with a young single mother, living in a ghostly white Pennsylvania town, becoming a partner and parent, raising two teenagers in what feels like a collapsing world.

With courage, vulnerability, and a remarkable expansiveness of spirit—not to mention an unrivaled, thrilling, and stylistic storytelling verve—in a world that can feel stacked against it, Another Word for Love makes an irresistible case for life, for healing, for the fullness of our humanity, and, of course, for love itself. This extraordinary, one-of-a-kind book is a radical meditation on healing, told through the lenses of justice, sex, family, and death. It could be called a theory of life itself—a theory of being that will leave you open to the expansive wonder of the world.

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  • Another Word for Love is brimming with insight, poetry, and care. Carvell Wallace is a staggeringly talented storyteller whose attention to both narrative and emotional detail is awe-inspiring. This is one to read and then reread.”

    —Morgan Parker, author of You Get What You Pay For

  • Another Word For Love is generous in how genuine the journey, the offering feels. Walking alongside a writer who is attempting to come to terms with the enormity of their survival, its joys and aches. And through this genuine nature, through this striking and beautiful prose, rich with touchable imagery, Carvell Wallace has you by the hand, and never lets go.”

    —Hanif Abdurraqib, author of There’s Always This Year

  • “This is a remarkable book by one of the finest young writers I’ve come across in many years. An insightful work by a young scribe of deep talent, whose courage and ingenuity are inspirational.”

    —James McBride, author of The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store

  • "Intricate and exhilarating . . . An exquisite, soulful must-read."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “One of the most soulfully crafted memoirs I’ve ever read. I couldn’t figure out how Carvell Wallace blurred time, region, care, and sexuality into something so different from anything I’ve read before. Had to put it down and pick it right back up because the artful intensity here is staggering.” 

    —Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division

  • “Carvell Wallace's Another Word For Love is more than a memoir, it is a map of how to get free, a dare to be fully awake to the world, a receipt of a life lived in resistance, an invitation to recover wholly and bravely. An inspired and ferocious book from beginning to end.”

    —Jessica Hopper, author of The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic

  • Another Word for Love recounts a life marked by profound uncertainty—mother, home, self as ephemeral as fog. And yet out of this morass emerges Carvell Wallace’s voice, clear and sharp as glass—and this book of uncommon brilliance and grace. A classic is born.”

    —Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia

  • “Carvell Wallace’s devastating book vibrates with a rare power—the kind of power that will help save lives. Because not only is it a brilliant evocation of the effects of marginalization on generation after generation, it is the story of how hope persists, and nourishes, despite what has come before. An unforgettable treatise on pain—and love. This book is a gift.” 

    —Hilton Als, author of My Pinup

  • “Stunning…What elevates the narrative is Wallace’s capacity for forgiveness and his virtuosic—but never indulgent—prose. This profoundly compassionate volume hugs the reader tightly and doesn’t let go.”

    Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • “This book was like holding hands with a friend while they tell me everything I ever wanted to know in all the ways I never expected to find out. Every page was worth reading, and I'm sure I'll read them all again and again."

    —Ashley C. Ford, author of Somebody’s Daughter