A Life in Episodes (#1–35)
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Published in: July-August 2024 issue.

A Memoir
by Carvell Wallace
Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
272 pages, $28.


LIKE THE TOUGH, unruly childhood of its queer Black author, Another Word for Love isn’t easy to take in. Raised by a struggling single mother who twice gave him up to relatives, uneasy for decades about who he was, feeling small and anxious to please, using drugs and alcohol to numb his grief, Carvell Wallace nevertheless managed to forge a life of storytelling, parenting, connecting with people—and writing. Out of his intense experience, he has distilled a wide-ranging, compelling memoir full of insights from the vantage point of middle age.

            Born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, in 1974, Wallace lived in Virginia, Maryland, and California before moving to New York City to earn a BFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. He now lives in Oakland. Among his accomplishments are designing and running programs for troubled youth; writing noteworthy profiles for such publications as GQ, Esquire, Glamour, The New Yorker, and The New York Times; and producing Finding Fred, an award-winning documentary podcast about children’s television host Fred Rogers.

            Another Word for Love unfolds in 35 loosely chronological episodes, but the title prompts an immediate question: What is that other word?

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Rosemary Booth is a writer and photographer who lives in Cambridge, MA.