NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.
“Pop culture–obsessed, Sedaris-level laugh-out-loud funny . . . [R. Eric Thomas] is one of my favorite writers.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda, Entertainment Weekly
FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TEEN VOGUE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • NPR • Marie Claire • Men’s Health
R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went—whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city—he found himself on the outside looking in.
In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Thomas reexamines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience. He explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents’ house was an anomalous bright spot, and the Eden-like school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election for Elle online, and the seismic changes that came thereafter. Ultimately, Thomas seeks the answer to these ever more relevant questions: Is the future worth it? Why do we bother when everything seems to be getting worse? As the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways, Thomas finds the answers to these questions by reenvisioning what “normal” means and in the powerful alchemy that occurs when you at last place yourself at the center of your own story.
Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has ever felt pushed to the margins, struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it—the future may surprise you.
R. Eric Thomas is a bestselling author, playwright, and screenwriter. His books include Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, which was featured as a Read with Jenna Book Club Pick on NBC’s Today, and Reclaiming Her Time: The Power of Maxine Waters, co-authored with Helena Andrews-Dyer. For four years, he wrote “Eric Reads the News,” a wildly popular daily humor column covering pop culture and politics for Elle online. Eric is the winner of the Barrymore Award for Best New Play and the Dramatist Guild Lanford Wilson Award, and was a finalist for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. He has written for the Peabody Award–winning streaming series Dickinson and Better Things on FX. Off the page, Eric is also the long-running host of The Moth StorySlams in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and has been heard multiple times on The Moth Radio Hour, NPR’s All Things Considered, and It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders. He lives in Maryland with his extraordinary husband, the Reverend David Norse Thomas.