Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional

Bloomsbury. Jul. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781635573978. $27. MEMOIR
Fitzgerald’s parents were married when they had him—just not to each other. And so begins this tenderhearted memoir in essays about the ripple effects from his difficult childhood and how they have affected the man he is and the man he is still becoming. The confessionals of his life are delivered as if from a stranger sitting next to readers while they have bellied up to the bar. His story begins living in a socialist Catholic charity house in Boston, catching games at Fenway with his dad in the standing room only seats. He comes of age in Massachusetts: reenacting scenes from the movie Fight Club with his friends, grappling with bad body image, discovering the band the Hold Steady, and eventually finding a home away from home working in a bar in San Francisco.
VERDICT Fitzgerald’s stories are introspective and exude self-awareness. Readers will leave with a true soft spot for him.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing