In the aftermath of a traumatic event, a young man navigates small-town gossip, grief and recovery amidst a culture of toxic masculinity. "A heart-soaring act of literary bravery," Car Crash is a hopeful, raw coming-of-age story for our times (Trent Dalton).
"Bruisingly insightful."—The Guardian
"Delivers from the first arresting page." —Inside Story
"Moving, lyrical, warmly told and very funny." —Brooke Davis, author of Lost & Found
"Shines with a fierce intelligence." —Kristina Olsson, author of Shell
Why did he get to live, and not them? This question has plagued Lech Blaine ever since he was a teenager, when he got into a car that never arrived at its destination. Of his crew of friends who were in the car, Blaine was the only passenger who made it out unscathed. In the aftermath of the accident that sent shockwaves through his small town, Blain was thrust into the local spotlight, fielding questions from journalists, police, and feeling pressure to perform his grief in public and on social media. In a community where men were expected to be strong and silent, Blaine felt that he had no one to turn to with his complicated emotions.
In Car Crash, Blaine offers an intimate, brave account of what it's like to survive a tragedy that others didn't—and a moving portrait of a young person struggling to define his own masculinity. Blaine was raised to believe that being masculine meant projecting toughness, stoicism, and dominance, and this belief leads him to alcohol and disordered eating to cope with his pain. But as Blaine finally learns to open up with family, friends, and a therapist, he comes to realize the meaning of true strength, and the power of vulnerability to bring hope and healing.
"Some books just have to be written. And some books just have to be read."—Trent Dalton, author of Boy Swallows Universe