[I've been
Dirtbag Massachusetts

This book was a deeply relatable set of essays about growing up a certain kind of poor boy in rural MA and the complex class issues surrounding that. As someone whose parents also left the MA cities for the MA rural life and kind of lost it, I read it with interest. The book coheres a bit unevenly in that it jumps back and forth in time a little because of the nature of some of these essays. Fitzgerald was raised by parents with problems in that “raised by wolves” way some people talk about. At the same time he’s currently a white man in America doing well. He’s mostly aware of this essential odd juxtaposition, and occasionally isn’t. He probably has (or had) a drinking problem. He had a poor body image and now he’s doing okay. He’s made up with his family. I probably dated a LOT of guys like him in high school and so it was weird to read something like this, but also very very useful.