Gabriel Bump

Acclaimed Novelist

Readings & Lecture Topics

  • An Evening with Gabriel Bump


“Bump’s meditation on belonging and not belonging, where or with whom, how love is a way home no matter where you are, is handled so beautifully that you don’t know he’s hypnotized you until he’s done.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Gabriel Bump has established himself as a stunning talent to be reckoned with.” —Maaza Mengiste

Gabriel Bump is the author of Everywhere You Don’t Belong (Workman, 2020), a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2020 and an Electric Lit Favorite Novel of 2020. The novel follows protagonist Claude, a young Black man born on the South Side of Chicago and raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He escapes Chicago to go to college, to find a new identity, and to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, there is no safe haven for a young Black man in this time and place called America.

Of the book, The Paris Review said, “A classic bildungsroman, made better by a lot of love for warts-and-all Chicago, and I see dashes of Percival Everett in Bump’s deadpan, how his characters cross the stage with a sashay (and sometimes more).” Author Tommy Orange called it, “A comically dark coming-of-age story about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, but it’s also social commentary at its finest, woven seamlessly into the work. Bump’s meditation on belonging and not belonging, where or with whom, how love is a way home no matter where you are, is handled so beautifully that you don’t know he’s hypnotized you until he’s done.”

Bump’s nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Slam magazine, the Huffington Post, Springhouse Journal, and other publications. He was awarded the 2016 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

He grew up in South Shore, Chicago and now lives in Buffalo, New York.


Gabriel Bump is the author of Everywhere You Don’t Belong, which was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2020 and an Electric Lit Favorite Novel of 2020. Bump’s nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Slam magazine, the Huffington Post, Springhouse Journal, and other publications. He was awarded the 2016 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He grew up in South Shore, Chicago and now lives in Buffalo, New York.


EVERYWHERE YOU DON’T BELONG (Novel, 2020)

“A comically dark coming-of-age story about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, but it’s also social commentary at its finest, woven seamlessly into the work.” —Tommy Orange, The New York Times Book Review

In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude isn’t dangerous or brilliant—he’s an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home. Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America. Percolating with fierceness and originality, attuned to the ironies inherent in our twenty-first-century landscape, Everywhere You Don’t Belong marks the arrival of a brilliant young talent.