GalleyCrush: The Selfless Act of Breathing

by Staff

Today’s GalleyCrush is JJ Bola’s The Selfless Act of Breathing, forthcoming from Atria Books on February 8, 2022.

Perfect pitch: “A heartbreaking, lyrical story for all of those who have fantasized about escaping their daily lives and starting over.”

First line: I quit my job; I am taking my life savings, $9,021, and when it runs out, I am going to kill myself.

Book notes: Hardcover, fiction, 272 pages.

Author bio: JJ Bola is a writer, poet, and an ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He is the author of three poetry collections—Elevate, Daughter of the Sun, and WORD—which were later published in one definitive collection called Refuge; the novel No Place Like Home; and Mask Off: Masculinity Redefined, which exposes masculinity as a socially conditioned performance. He was one of Spread the Word’s 2017 Flight Associates and a Kit de Waal Scholar for the Birkbeck University MA in Creative Writing. As a former refugee, Bola was invited to the 2018 Davos Economic Forum and held a discussion with Cate Blanchett. He reads, speaks, gives workshops, and performs around the world. He lives in London, England.