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Publisher's Summary

In the style of New York Times best sellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist, and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity.

It hasn’t been easy being Michael Arceneaux.

Equality for LGBTQ people has come a long way and all, but voices of persons of color within the community are still often silenced, and being Black in America is...well, have you watched the news?

With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite.

He eloquently writes about coming out to his mother; growing up in Houston, Texas; being approached for the priesthood; his obstacles in embracing intimacy that occasionally led to unfortunate fights with fire ants and maybe fleas; and the persistent challenges of young people who feel marginalized and denied the chance to pursue their dreams.

Perfect for fans of David Sedaris, Samantha Irby, and Phoebe Robinson, I Can’t Date Jesus tells us - without apologies - what it’s like to be outspoken and brave in a divisive world.

©2018 Michael Arceneaux. All rights reserved. (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"[A] witty and powerful collection of personal essays.... Arceneaux’s confident voice and unapologetic sense of humor will appeal to fans of Roxane Gay." (Publishers Weekly)

"Arceneaux's essays penetrate to the heart of intersectionality to reveal personal and religious trials of faith. Together, they make a powerful statement of self-acceptance in a world much in need of lessons about diversity, tolerance, and openness. A funny, fierce, and bold memoir in essays." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Hilarious...Arceneaux’s acerbic humor is reminiscent of the very best work of American humorist and author David Sedaris." (The Advocate)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Everyone should read this

Honestly incredible. I’ve been following the expected release of this book since last year, and it did not disappoint. At all. The title essay, “I Can’t Date Jesus,” had me crying. I’m still crying. Arcenaux is raw and I afraid of himself, and we learn about his resilience navigating a complicated world of other people’s’ expectations. Read it, buy it again, share it with a friend.

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So real and unapologetically Black.

This book was so lively and an amazing reflection on the author's thoughts and life. For as funny and snarky as he is, when it's get real it touches you. Some parts reminded me of my own childhood and it was sobering to know someone has had similar experiences

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very entertaining

I love this story, I wish he would have read the book as he was speaking to us which there were moments when he did and it was quite refreshing and funny yet he drove his point home

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Amazing Book Anyone Can Relate To

I just listened to I Can't Date Jesus, and I finished the book in a weekend (even though I probably could have finished it faster). I loved Michael Arceneaux's narration and hearing it in the author's own voice! The stories in this book were so funny and heartfelt. You truly felt like you were hearing secrets about Michael Arceneaux's life. I'd recommend to anyone especially folks from Christian homes or individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+!

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simply wonderful

raw, riveting and real. michael’s story is gripping and his telling is flawless and funny. he is a warm, sincere and beautiful man. i truly hope i have the privilege of meeting him someday and thanking him personally for his much-needed contribution to our country’s narrative.

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what I've been looking for.

I've been searching for a book that is light, fun and funny, yet relevant. I listened to this in one day.

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Funny, authentic, view-changing

I really enjoyed listening to life experiences so different than my own. It was written with enough honesty and detail to allow me to really be able to see the authors view of the world.

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Poignant, challenging and funny

Well written. Weaves race, religion, and class in a thought provoking and very funny way. I would recommend this book

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More please!

We need more works like this in the ecosystem. Growing up, I feel like all I had were E Lynn Harris books (don’t get me wrong, I devoured them back in the day) so hearing about this book and consuming it have been such gratifying experiences. Representation is incredibly important and Michael does a fine job of holding up a large swath of America that doesn’t get to see themselves in the mainstream, much less in books. The book is a great read, being relatable, hilariously entertaining, emotional at times and shady af (in a good way 😄). Listen now, then tell a friend!

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Great work!

I haven’t been able to stop listening! Michael keeps me laughing with his witty and relevant commentary. The personal stories he shares really add color to his material and makes me crave any more. A must have for everyone!