Go Home, Ricky!
- Additional formats:
- Publication Date: October 19, 2021
- Imprint: The Overlook Press
- Trim Size: 5 1⁄2 x 8 1⁄4
- ISBN: 978-1-4197-5361-9
- Page Count: 272
- Rights: North America
From a rising literary star comes a fresh, satirical novel about masculinity and tenderness, fatherhood and motherhood, set in the world of semi-professional wrestling
After seven years on the semi-pro wrestling circuit, Ricky Twohatchet, a.k.a. Richard Powell, needs one last match before he gets called up to the big leagues. Unlike some wrestlers who only play the stereotype, Ricky believes he comes by his persona honestly—he’s half white and half Native American—even if he’s never met his father. But the night of the match in Omaha, Nebraska, something askew in their intricate choreography sets him on a course for disaster. He finishes with a neck injury that leaves him in a restrictive brace and a video already going viral: him spewing profanities at his ex-partner, Johnny America. Injury aside, he’s out of the league.
Without a routine or identity, Ricky spirals downward, finally setting off to learn about his father, and what he finds will explode everything he knows about who he is—as a man, a friend, a son, a partner, and a wrestler. Go Home, Ricky! is a sometimes-witty, sometimes-heart-wrenching, but always gripping look into the complexities of identity.
"Go Home, Ricky!takes on the urgent themes of today— identity, belonging, economic precarity —with an almost throwback commitment to the exhilarations of voice, of language. This pile driver of a novel is original, deeply funny, and moving.GeneKwak revels in the contradictions and nuances of life, because that's where wisdom comes from, as well as the best fiction." —New York Times bestselling author of The Ask and The Fun Parts, Sam Lipsyte
"Go Home, Ricky!is a rambunctious and constantly surprising novel about wrestling, absent fathers and father figures, and the personas we'll wear on the way to figuring out who we really are. Kwak's sly, big-hearted novel resists easy answers, making Ricky's odyssey all the more satisfying and true." —author of Stephen Florida, Gabe Habash
"It's impossible not to root for underdog wrestler Ricky Twohatchet, a scrappy, good-natured bigmouth with very bad luck. Bleak, funny, and bittersweet,Go Home Ricky!is about finding your people and finding your place in the world.GeneKwak's playful, adroit prose is as offbeat as it is heartfelt—this is an unforgettable debut." —author of Black Light: Stories, longlisted for the National Book Award, Kimberly King Parsons
"Gene Kwak is an enormously talented young writer who has a way of untangling race and masculinity with a lot more humor and originality than any of his contemporaries. Go Home, Ricky! has stayed with me. I can't forget itsrhythmand energy." —author of Pew and Certain American States, Catherine Lacey
"Gene Kwak writes with a head-spinning musicality and depth of spirit that cannot be denied. Each sentence sparkles like a gemstone just cracked open, rewarding the attentive ear with ecstatic nuance, vibrant rhythm, a way of seeing and speaking you can come to through no one else but him. Pull out any line fromGo Home, Ricky!and you will find immediate evidence of a new classic culled deep from the heart of America, with no holds barred style to spare. In no small terms, Kwak is a must." —author of Alice Knott and Three Hundred Thousand, Blake Butler
"Gene Kwak is a force to be reckoned with. I'm astonished by the way he poses questions of masculinity and racial identity with such a deftness that they appear both subtle and urgent at once. I cannot wait for this novel to find its readers." —author of The Grip of It and False Bingo, Jac Jemc
About the author
Gene Kwak has published fiction and nonfiction both in print and online in the The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Wigleaf, Redivider, Hobart, Electric Literature, and in the flash anthology Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction. He teaches at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Go Home, Ricky! is his debut novel.