Hard Bones is a memoir that I wrote about my attempts to heal from childhood trauma as a working class person in late capitalism. I tell the story of how I got into Thai boxing at the beginning of the Trump presidency and eventually ended up in Thailand just as the borders were closing due to Covid in March 2020. It is heavy on narrative, but also veers into journalism as I follow Thailand’s public health response to Covid and the rise of the pro-democracy movement there. It begins with an essay about meritocracy, that mythological idea that keeps us fearfully in an endless cycle of competition and self-optimization. I wrote Hard Bones in October 2020 when I returned to the US, and edited it in November 2020 before putting it up on Amazon and printing about 100 copies for sale. I had thought about editing it and pitching it to publishers, but after two years I’ve realized that it is an artifact that needs to exist as-is, with all of its typos and anger. It is my declaration that I am a writer; a jumping point from which I am giving myself full freedom to write the things that rip people apart inside.
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