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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITOR'S CHOICE
A PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A fierce and riveting queer coming-of-age story, following the personal and political awakening of a young gay Black man in 1980s NYC, from the television drama writer and producer of The Chi, Narcos, and Bel-Air.
My Government Means to Kill Me
"MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" is a LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD finalist in GAY FICTION
"MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" has been named
one of the "100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2022" by THE NEW YORK TIMES
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER says that "MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" is
one of "THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022"
The AMAZON BOOK REVIEWS EDITORS have picked "MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" as one of the "BEST DEBUTS OF 2022"
"MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" has been nominated for "BEST READ" in the 2023 QUEERTIES
"MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" is on
them's "OUR 23 FAVORITE LGBTQ+ BOOKS OF 2022" list
TATTERED COVER BOOK STORE has included "MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME"
on their list of "2022 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR - ADULT"
DEBUTIFUL says "MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" is one of the "BEST DEBUT BOOKS OF 2022"
GAY TIMES has named "MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME as one of the "11 BEST BOOKS OF 2022 BY LGBTQ+ AUTHORS"
QUEERTY says "MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" is
one of the "BEST LGBTQ BOOKS TO READ YOURSELF OR GIFT OTHERS"
"MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" is a NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE
"MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME" is an AMAZON BEST BOOK OF AUGUST 2022
“Full of joy and righteous anger, sex and straight talk, brilliant storytelling and humor, Rasheed Newson’s debut novel has given us the story of Trey, set against the history of 80s queer Black New York, AIDS, and the movements that changed the era. A spectacularly researched Dickensian tale with vibrant characters and dozens of famous cameos, it is precisely the book we’ve needed for a long time. That—and a rollicking read! What more could you want?”
- ANDREW SEAN GREER, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of LESS
“My Government Means to Kill Me is an action-packed, entertaining inside look at the life of a young political rebel. Written with unflinching tenderness, Newson gives us an honest and compelling portrait of a gay Black man coming of age.”
- MATTHEW A. CHERRY, Academy Award-winning director of HAIR LOVE
“Hilarious, heartbreaking, and sexy as all get out.”
- AYELET WALDMAN, author of LOVE AND TREASURE
“Fresh, vibrant and utterly unapologetic. Rasheed Newson has written an unforgettable, take-no-prisoners novel alive with humor and full of urgency. Newson’s Trey and his determination to live life on his own terms, even in the face of death all around him, brings into three dimension an era of New York Queer life that, too often, has been flattened and whitewashed by history.”
- XOCHITL GONZALEZ, author of New York Times bestseller OLGA DIES DREAMING
“Extraordinary…shines a vivid light onto underappreciated aspects of our history through the life of a gay Black teenager…The book’s greatest charm lies in the sensitivity and subtlety of its narrative.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"...beautifully portrays just how social activism has to be."
"This book should charm its way onto lots of best books of the year lists."
“Delightful and fast-paced, a fascinating narrative of queer activism during the AIDS epidemic.”
"MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME provides a fascinating and nuanced history woven through an invigorating, sharp, and sexy tale."
"An eloquent story of the struggle for gay liberation"
"An episodic narrative about learning to navigate the world, this novel is both hilarious and angry."
"Replete with cameos from historical figures, humor, heartbreak and lots of action, this novel has it all."
“Newson’s debut is an audacious, vibrant Ragtime-esque ride through the sordid sanctuary of AIDS-era New York, a book about sex and activism and the power we have to liberate ourselves.”
“Newson’s attention to historical details gives this moving novel a sense of urgency and immediacy.”
"From its use of footnotes to the historical figures that appear, the Bel Air co-showrunner's historical fiction debut delivers education and fun in equal measure."
"...brings humanity, life, and wit to the desperation and politics that besieged real lives during the height of the AIDS epidemic."
"...extremely thoughtful and clever on narrative, thematic, and formal levels, unfolding meaning in every possible place, MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME is a tour-de-force."
“A fast-moving and riveting examination of what it means to build a life in the middle of a deadly epidemic.”
"Beautifully written, poignant, and exceptionally well-researched"
“MY GOVERNMENT MEANS TO KILL ME is not only a brilliant historical novel of those times, it is a bold statement of how someone who could have been an outcast doesn't settle for being left out.”
"Rasheed Newson wants to make you uncomfortable"
"Rasheed Newson centers LGBTQ history in debut novel"
"Rasheed Newson’s Debut Novel Retells the Early Years of AIDS in New York City"
"In 'My Government Means to Kill Me,' vibrant life shines through the AIDS crisis"
"Facts and Fiction Collide in This Clever Novel of AIDS Activism"
"In His Debut Novel, Rasheed Newson Looks At Gay Life Amid The AIDS Crisis"
"Rasheed Newson Talks Activism and Sex Positivity in His New Book"
"Rasheed Newson says his novel, set in the early AIDS era, is ‘a call to action’"
Listen to Rasheed on BAD QUEERS podcast
Listen to Rasheed on HOMOPHILIA podcast
Listen to Rasheed on BURNED BY BOOKS podcast
Listen to Rasheed on DEBUTIFUL podcast
Meet Rasheed Newson
Rasheed Newson is an author, a television drama writer, an executive producer, and a showrunner. "My Government Means to Kill Me" is his debut novel. Rasheed – along with his television writing partner, T.J. Brady – is an Executive Producer of the drama series Bel-Air (Peacock).