My book, a memoir-in-essays entitled I'm Never Fine: Scenes and Spasms on Loss,
is out NOW from Vine Leaves Press.
is out NOW from Vine Leaves Press.
Praise for I'm Never Fine...
"A standout piece of work. Honest and raw and heartfelt. [Lezza] drills down. He mines. He fracks! There's not one sentence here that takes the easy route and goes for a quick gag and an easy out. This is tough and true and so well considered. A magnificent achievement...This is the hardest of things, this is writing."
Russell T. Davies, award-winning writer and creator of Queer as Folk and Doctor Who
"Thought-provoking and well-crafted, this memoir signals the debut of a bold new voice in creative nonfiction."
Dave Vogel, Buzzfeed
"A deft blend of tragedy and comedy, these striking lyric essays are essential reading."
Rolli, award-winning cartoonist and author of Plumstuff
"Lezza’s voice is strong and authentic, approaching familial death with skill, showing us that grief brings many strong emotions, but fine might be the most overrated of them all."
Hannah Ryder, West Trade Review
"Joseph Lezza has written an at once gorgeous and gut-wrenching memoir about the loss of his extraordinary father. I'm Never Fine is relentlessly honest, vulnerable, and brave. His prose sparkles and swirls in time and emotions, never shying away from the cruel realities of cancer or death, but also reminding us of 'weird little joys that make waking up exciting.' I highly recommend this startling and stylish book to anyone who has lost someone they've loved so massively. With beauty, wisdom, and dark humor, he also gives us a blueprint for life, love, and loss."
Liz Scheid, author of The Shape of Blue
“One of the joys of Lezza’s writing is its own shapeshifting; sometimes he calls the reader to follow him as he tries to sketch a Polaroid of a memory, while other times he reaches for a poetic brush to color in impressionistic, lyric moments.”
Manuel Betancourt, Barrelhouse
“...a gorgeously written memoir filled to the brim with heart and humor...it pulls up a chair for one of those late-night conversations with a close friend you didn't know you needed.”
Greg Mania, StyleCaster
"Lezza makes his grief corporeal in I'm Never Fine by molding the loss of his father in sickness and in death into profound and poignant essays. We mourn alongside him while acknowledging that grief is a shapeshifter that never leaves. There is a uniqueness and levity that only Lezza can bring to the page-where humor and calamity go hand-in-hand in a seemingly effortless way. I'm Never Fine is a stunning-and necessary-debut."
Victoria Buitron, author of A Body Across Two Hemispheres
"In his book, Lezza captures the ruthlessness of losing a loved one with such lyrical finesse. Adeptly managing to weave humor and banality into nearly every page, the reader is immersed into a world that feels so familiar. He captures what it is to love and what it is to lose that love. The result is a beautiful tribute, full of raw and honest humanity, that makes the reader feel a little less alone."
Stephanie Wittels Wachs, author of Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and Loss
"Lezza's debut memoir is a riot. With essays surrounding the life and death of his father and his own coming-of-age, Lezza has turned chaos into insight, anger into testimony. I'm Never Fine is a tender, hysterical, sharply-rendered and often surprising portrait of love and grief from a talented new voice. Joseph Lezza is a writer to watch."
Edgar Gomez, author of High Risk Homosexual
"In his debut memoir, Joseph Lezza weaves a bold, fearless, and highly innovative account of a deeply personal story, the kind that can only be rendered by someone who has lived inside the dark contours of a life, and never blinked once to shield himself from the impact, but rather, stared it down long enough to take note. Keep an eye on anything Lezza writes, I assure you his is a name that we'll hear for many years to come!"
Tim Z. Hernandez, author of All They Will Call You
"Joseph Lezza weaves a necessary tapestry of family relationships, loss, anticipatory grief and the brief moments of joy that flash when we show up for ourselves as we show up for those who hover in the in-between of life-in-transit and death. Lezza narrates the various states of waiting and witnessing from the vantage point of a queer caretaker-these insights are vital as they are voluminous. Lezza's voice is hearty and full-throated; a voice that helps navigate the trembling waters of grief any of us have ever endured or have yet to explore."
Raquel Gutiérrez, author of Brown Neon
"In its wide emotional amplitude and stark dissection of physical realities, I’M NEVER FINE counters with pathos, vulnerability and a tender germ of healing that starts its growth when we’re least aware of it happening."
Pauline Finch, bookreporter
"The essays in Lezza’s work are a mix of sarcastic wit and deep introspection as he tries to find his own path through the five stages of grief, which turn out to be more homogenized and nonlinear than appear."
Alex Carrigan, Rejection Letters