by Trey Ellis
In Home Repairs, we come to know Austin McMillan through the pages of his journal, a frank, funny, often overheated self-portrait of a privileged young black man who is obsessed with women. We first meet him at an elite prep school, secretly mortified because at the ripe age of sixteen he has yet to kiss a girl. Wondering where he's gone wrong, he sits down to chronicle his passions, From his first kindergarten crush to the teenage sirens who now overwhelm his dreams. Though his list grows as he moves on to the Ivy League, the lessons of experience prove all too elusive: a smile still rockets him to manic bliss and a cross word drives him to despair, but his vivid imagination is never matched by the reality of his life. Austin's musings are hilarious and poignant, his pain always masked by humor as he ricochets his way to manhood. Home Repairs is part Catcher in the Rye and part Portnoy's Complaint, told by a young man wrestling with the mysteries of sex and love, and the puzzle of his own identity.
Paperback; 332 pages