From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America's heartland to becoming the "Chicano Carrie Bradshaw" of his generation.
The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer "Papi" was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it was flattering; JP took this as white-guy speak for "hey, handsome." Who doesn't want to be called handsome? But then it happened again and again...and again, leaving JP wondering: Who the hell is Papi?
What started as a racialized moniker given to him on a hookup app soon became the inspiration for his now wildly popular advice column "¡Hola Papi!", launching his career as the Cheryl Strayed for young queer people everywhere--and some straight people too. JP had his doubts at first--what advice could he really offer while he himself stumbled through his early 20s? Sometimes the best advice to dole outcomes from looking within, which is what JP has done in his column and book--and readers have flocked to him for honest, heartfelt wisdom, and of course a few laughs.
In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet against the backdrop of America's heartland, while attempting to answer some of life's toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he's out of the closet? Questions we've all asked ourselves, surely.
With wit and wisdom in equal measure, ¡Hola Papi! is for anyone--gay, straight, and everything in between--who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world, offering considered advice, intelligent discourse, and fits of laughter along the way. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Shea Serrano says: "I loved ¡Hola Papi! I'm certain you will too."
"If you haven't been subscribing to John Paul Brammer's ¡Hola Papi! advice newsletter, you've been missing tender and funny and sweet notes on how to go from friends to lovers, questionable Latinx fetishes, and broken hearts. His memoir uses his own life as the source material for hard-earned lessons, keeping the same funny and gentle voice along the way. Being biracial and closeted in rural Oklahoma means that sometimes you end up coming out in a Walmart parking lot, and Brammer is there to guide you along the way."-- REMEZCLA
"I have for years looked and hoped to find a writer who could write about being (among other things) Mexican-American in a way that not only felt vital and delicate and funny and tender, but also that made me feel more connected to people who did not happen to look like me. John Paul, it would appear, is exactly that. He has a remarkable ability for writing in a way that makes it feel like he's crawling around inside your head, opening up the old wooden chests and trunk that you were never quite smart enough to figure out how to unlock. I loved ¡Hola Papi!. I'm certain you will too."-- SHEA SERRANO, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF BASKETBALL (AND OTHER THINGS)
"With the briny wit of David Rakoff, the illuminated-from-within wisdom of Cheryl Strayed, and the singular perspective that can only come from JP Brammer, ¡Hola Papi! takes the anxiety-riddled questions of being and otherness and answers them with an expansive openness that will take your breath away. Every essay in this book is revealing, personal, at times cathartic or bracing, and, above all, infused with an endless reserve of compassion. In this way, ¡Hola Papi! is life-giving. It's also life giving as in 'this book gave me life!' if that's how you role. Oh, my heart! My feelings! My soul! This book, which is also so richly funny and well-observed, is a gift to any reader who wants to be reminded of what an extraordinary and complex thing it is to be alive. It is an invigorating and vital read." --R. ERIC THOMAS, bestselling author of Here for It, or How to Save Your Soul in America
"I've been a fan of JP Brammer's for years now, following him from platform to platform in a non-creepy way, of course, always happy to shell out money for the privilege, but his free content online is more than we deserve. I do this because I have been consistently amazed at Brammer's capacity for satire and seriousness, the way his insights lay bare what I was feeling sometimes before I knew it, and how he can break your heart as he makes you laugh. That he does all of this under the auspices of helping anyone is...Well, we are lucky to live in the era of JP Brammer. That really is all." --ALEXANDER CHEE, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
"JP Brammer is the best storyteller. Every chapter of this amazing book will sweep you along on a tidal wave of suspense, wit, and gut-wrenching insights into the bewilderment of growing up and figuring out who you are. I love this book so much and I hope Brammer writes many more." --HEATHER HAVRILESKY, "Ask Polly" columnist and author of What If This Were Enough?
"John Paul is so good that he makes me forget I'm reading. I sit down with ¡Hola Papi!, and ten minutes later, I'm crying, sending the funniest lines to my friends, and somehow feeling better about humanity. He's a beautiful writer. But he's also a really welcoming writer. Like, his work invites you in. This book reflects that perfectly."-- RAINBOW ROWELL, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ELEANOR & PARK
"John Paul's writing is a light. His heart, wit, and compassion shine through everything he writes, and his work has a way of making people feel loved, seen, validated, and connected. His perspective is much needed, and his voice needs to be heard far and wide. ¡Hola Papi! tackles race, gender, and sexuality in a way that speaks directly to marginalized communities with humor and warmth, while also bringing all of us into the conversation together. His work is essential and necessary."-- JONNY SUN, TV WRITER (BOJACK HORSEMAN) AND AUTHOR OF EVERYONE'S A ALIEBN WHEN UR A ALIEBN TOO
"Consoler of the queer and lonely John Paul Brammer--a self-described 'Twitter-addled gay Mexican with anxiety'--expands upon his popular ¡Hola Papi! advice column, often hilarious and always heartfelt, spinning personal misadventures into invaluable life lessons."-- OPRAH MAGAZINE
"John Paul Brammer brings his trademark heart and wit to essays that reveal how he grew up queer and mixed-race in the American heartland, came out in a Walmart parking lot (he does not recommend it), and became the LGBTQ+ community's favorite advice columnist -- the 'Picante Carrie Bradshaw' of his generation"-- THE ADVOCATE
About the Speakers
John Paul Brammer is an author, illustrator, and columnist from rural Oklahoma currently living in Brooklyn. He runs the popular advice column "¡Hola Papi!" on Substack. His work, including essays, short fiction, and illustrations, has appeared in The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Catapult, Business Insider, and many more. This is his first book. He runs a print shop where he puts his artwork and designs at HolaPapiShop.com. You can keep up with him on Twitter or Instagram @JPBrammer.
Natalie Dalea is a midwestern mestiza writer. She currently works for WBEZ’s Curious City, where she creates podcasts and digital stories about Chicago, the region, and its people. Other projects have included artist profiles, environmental journalism, and memoir ghostwriting. She is also editing a middle grade fiction novel about ballet dancers. When she’s not writing, Natalie can be found shooting urban photography around Chicago. Find her clips at Curious City, The Portalist, and the Field Museum Blogs. Follow her @nmdalea.
You may purchase a copy of ¡HOLA PAPI! from Left Bank Books online or by phone. Purchase of the $5 Event Ticket is also available online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. If you have purchased the book from Left Bank, you will receive an email event reminder a few days prior to the event. You will receive the email with the link to join the private online event the DAY OF the event.
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