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May 2022

Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional

Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional

Isaac Fitzgerald

Isaac Fitzgerald, the author of How to Be a Pirate and co-author of Pen & Ink, begins his gritty, humorous memoir this way: "My parents were married when they had me, just to different people." He was thus, he says, both "a child of passion!" and "a bomb aimed perfectly to blow up both my parents' lives." Each marriage had already yielded a child. (They met in divinity school.) His opinion of the world was shaped by his parents' love of literature, their Catholic faith and an apathetic view of worldly possessions. Whenever they had to move, books took priority over furniture. But everything changed when Isaac turned eight, and upheaval came: a rift between his parents and, later, boarding school with its mix of drugs, music, the opening of his intellect and a climb up Kilimanjaro. In this series of 10 essays, he exposes the realities of his childhood, his escape from the title town, and how he found an unorthodox, inspiring path of healing.

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