My Dead Book is a novel composed of nonlinear vignettes and fragments about a queer man approaching his fiftieth birthday who is haunted by insomnia and his past. In the dead of night, he remembers his friends who died in the late 1980s and 1990s, his years as a teenage throwaway and sex worker, and ruminates on working class survival, queer aging, AIDS, and whether he has outlived his place in the world.
"What a blistering book—with My Dead Book, Nate Lippens has created something truly fucking great. It's as if the storied stars of Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side' overshot Manhattan and wound up in Wisconsin, broke and blue with cold and depressed beyond belief by the thought that this nowhere is now home. It's a bitter pill, but I love bitterness, and who doesn't love pills?"
— Derek McCormack.
“There’s no doubt to this book. You’d think that was a flaw but it’s been burned away. My Dead Book is not short though it is brief. It’s loving, bittersweet, and actually courageous because it tells a story that is slightly unbearable because it’s all secret, awful hard bad secrets and funny as hell. Nate’s balancing act works because the heart of it (this novel) is true even though it’s often heartless. It’s simple. He knows what things are worth. When you need the sea or a bird they’re there like they never were before.”
— Eileen Myles
“This book by Nate Lippens is really moving and beautifully written. Not one superfluous sentence. It’s razor tight. The phantom limbs of what has been excised remains. But still there is so much love and sadness and all the randomness of what makes a life, and who you meet along the way. My ghosts are summoned by his ghosts.”
— Hedi El Kholti
Cover image by Jimmy DeSana, courtesy Jimmy DeSana Trust