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For readers of Minor Feelings, Girlhood, and Gay Bar, an incisive memoir-in-essays about art and desire, style and politics, madness and salvation, and coming of age in the image-obsessed culture of the 2010s.

 

You recognize a mean boy when you see one. Mean boys take up space. They dominate the high school cafeteria of life, wielding cruelty to claim their place in the pecking order. Some mean boys make art or music or fashion; others make memes. Some mean boys are girls. Mean boys stomp the runways in Milan and Paris; mean boys marched at Charlottesville. One mean boy became president.

 

For art critic and brand strategist Geoffrey Mak, mean boys are the emblem of a society so ravenous for novelty, so skilled at discovering and exploiting the next edgy thing, that it can even sell itself the unthinkable. In these eight pyrotechnic essays, Mak ranges widely over the landscape of art and fashion in our time of paranoia, crisis, and frenetic, clickable consumption. He grants readers an inside pass to the spaces where culture was made and unmade over the past decade, from the antiseptic glare of white-walled galleries to the darkest corners of Berlin techno clubs.

 

As the gay son of an evangelical minister, Mak fled to those spaces, hoping to cut himself off from family and join a rootless, influential elite. But when calamity struck, it forced Mak into a confrontation with the costs of mistaking status for belonging. Through searingly intimate memoir, Mean Boys investigates exile and return, transgression and forgiveness, and the value of faith, empathy, and friendship in a world designed to make us want what is bad for us.

Mean Boys

  • Geoffrey Mak

    For readers of Minor Feelings, Girlhood, and Gay Bar, an incisive memoir-in-essays about art and desire, style and politics, madness and salvation, and coming of age in the image-obsessed culture of the 2010s.
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    All Rights Available
  • Book Details

    ISBN: 9781635577945

    Pub date: 30/04/2024

    Format: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4

    Extent: 272pp

  • About the Author

    Geoffrey Mak is a queer, Chinese American writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Artforum, The Nation, Art in America, Interview, Spike, Guernica, Highsnobiety, and other publications. He is cofounder of the reading and performance series Writing on Raving. Mak holds an MA in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from NYU?s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He lives in Brooklyn.

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