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Hola Papi
Cover of Hola Papi
Hola Papi
How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons
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LGBTQ advice columnist John Paul Brammer writes a "wise and charming" (David Sedaris) memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey from a queer, mixed-race kid in America's heartland to becoming the...
LGBTQ advice columnist John Paul Brammer writes a "wise and charming" (David Sedaris) memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey from a queer, mixed-race kid in America's heartland to becoming the...
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Description-

  • LGBTQ advice columnist John Paul Brammer writes a "wise and charming" (David Sedaris) memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey from a queer, mixed-race kid in America's heartland to becoming the "Chicano Carrie Bradshaw" of his generation.

    "A master class of tone and tenderness." —The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
    "Should be required reading." —Los Angeles Times
    The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer "Papi" was on the gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it was flattering; JP took this as white-guy speak for "hey, handsome." But then it happened again and again...and again, leaving JP wondering: Who the hell is Papi?

    Soon, this racialized moniker became the inspiration for his now wildly popular advice column "¡Hola Papi!," launching his career as the Cheryl Strayed for young queer people everywhere—and some straight people too. JP had his doubts at first—what advice could he really offer while he himself stumbled through his early twenties? Sometimes the best advice comes from looking within, which is what JP does in his column and book—and readers have flocked to him for honest, heartfelt wisdom, and more than a few laughs.

    In this hilarious, tenderhearted book, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet in America's heartland, while attempting to answer some of life's most challenging questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he's out of the closet? Questions we've all asked ourselves, surely.

    ¡Hola Papi! is "a warm, witty compendium of hard-won life lessons," (Harper's Bazaar) for anyone—gay, straight, and everything in between—who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world.

About the Author-

  • John Paul Brammer is an author, illustrator, and columnist from rural Oklahoma currently living in Brooklyn. He runs the popular advice column "¡Hola Papi!" on Substack. His work, including essays, short fiction, and illustrations, has appeared in The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Catapult, Business Insider, and many more. ¡Hola Papi! is his first book. He runs a print shop where he puts his artwork and designs at HolaPapiShop.com. You can keep up with him on Twitter or Instagram @JPBrammer.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2021

    Host of the popular advice column "�Hola Papi!" on Substack, Brammer offers a memoir-in-essays, tracking what it's like to grow up as a queer, mixed-race Chicano kid in America's heartlands (75,000-copy first printing). In The Profession, originally scheduled for fall 2020 and written with Turnaround coauthor Knobler, Bratton tracks a career that led to his being police commissioner in New York City. Burns proclaims Where You Are Is Not Who You Are, sharing where she's been and what she's learned as the first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company (75,000-copy first printing). Former teen model Diamond (Naked Rome) reveals a childhood both wacky and cliff-hanging in Nowhere Girl; on the run with an outlaw family, she lived in more than a dozen countries, on five continents, under six assumed identities, by age nine (50,000-copy first printing). Twitter-famous Henderson offers The Ugly Cry to tell us about being raised Black in a mostly white community by tough grandparents after her mother abandoned her. Today show news anchor Melvin uses Pops to explore issues of race and fatherhood while recalling his own dad (100,000-copy first printing). Founder of Chicago's Dreamcatcher Foundation, which assists young people in disadvantaged areas, Myers-Powell recalls a childhood fractured by her mother's death and a life of pimps and parties before finally Leaving Breezy Street (75,000-copy first printing). Growing up scary smart if poor and emotionally unsupported, James Edward Plummer renamed himself Hakeem Muata Oluseyi to honor his African heritage and now leads A Quantum Life as a NASA physicist. In House of Sticks, Tran recalls leaving Vietnam as a toddler in 1993 and growing up in Queens, helping her mom as a manicurist and eventually graduating from Columbia (100,000-copy first printing). In As a Woman, Williams, a celebrated speaker on gender equity and LGTBQ+ issues, describes the decision to transition from male to female as a 60-year-old husband, father, and pastor (60,000-copy first printing).

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2021
    First the title: �Hola Papi! is the name of a gay advice column the author, a Mexican American, who is himself gay, writes for Substack, and these 14 autobiographical stories are offered as replies to invented questions from imagined writers to the column. Thus, a story about the horrors of Brammer's eighth-grade life (arguably the best piece in the collection) is prefaced by the question, "How do I let go of my childhood trauma?" Signed, Damaged Goods. Another, this one about how the author falls in love with his best friend and comes out to him in a Walmart parking lot--the second best--is prefaced with the question, "How do I let go of a rotten relationship?" Signed, Addicted to You. Speaking of addicted: readers are likely to become addicted to these stories; they're that good. Beautifully written ("each step was as heavy as a falling piano"), the stories run a gamut of emotions that readers will share. Some are wistful; some, melancholy; others, sad or poignant or bittersweet. The subjects of the stories--Brammer's quotidian life--are made fascinating with the author's deeply introspective musing and self-analysis. Brammer comes to know himself very well, and readers will be delighted to make his acquaintance, too.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2021
    Life counsel from an LGBTQ+ advice columnist. In his sassy, entertaining debut collection, Brooklyn-based author and illustrator Brammer doles out sage guidance for primarily gay male audiences through personal anecdotes and memories. He shares bold, unique perspectives on a variety of subjects, including his attempts to forgive a childhood bully, navigating the "hook-up" app culture, and acing the "serious mental gymnastics" involved in moving from a closeted kid to an out gay man. Brammer derived the name of his advice column from the first greeting he received on the Grindr app. From there, he gained in popularity as he began addressing a host of situational, sexual, relationship-oriented, and racially diversified issues within the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities. The author humorously and candidly discusses his personal coming-out process and thirst for knowledge about the gay community, and his authentic voice will appeal to and resonate with readers navigating their own sexual identities. Brammer also writes about his mixed-race history as a Mexican American son of a "brown woman from Texas" and a "white man from Oklahoma" alongside a beloved abuela doling out tough love. For the author, school days were tough and lonely, the exact opposite of his parents' experiences at the same schools, where they were popular basketball superstars. Brammer also revisits decisions he made about working in Mexican restaurants in high school after recognizing that he "wasn't Mexican enough"--decisions his abuela disdained: "I was deliberately undermining all the hard work Abuela had put into making me white." As free-flowing commentary on identity, Latinx culture, and tradition commingle with Brammer's contemporary urban gay experience, the narrative is packed with illuminatingly frank perspectives. Some sections, which answer fan questions on how to dress "gayer," aren't nearly as impactful, but the sum of Brammer's life experiences will prove charming, instructional, and frequently relatable for his established readership and those seeking time-tested advice on contemporary conundrums within the gay community. Contemporary lighthearted wisdom (and some campy fun) for LGBTQ+ audiences.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons
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