Julia Koets

The Rib Joint

“This dazzling writer has created a guidebook for growing up queer in the American South . . . a testament to human endurance and dignity.” —Nick White, author of Sweet & Low
Growing up in a small town in the South, Julia and her childhood best friend Laura know the church as well as they know each other’s bodies—the California-shaped scar on Julia’s right knee, the tapered thinness of Laura’s fingers, the circumference of each other’s ponytails. When Laura’s family moves away in middle school and Julia gets a crush on the new priest’s daughter at their church, Julia starts to more fully realize the consequences of being anything but straight in the South.
After college, when Julia and her best friend Kate wait tables at a rib joint in Julia’s hometown, they are forced to face the price of the secrets they’ve kept—from their families, each other, and themselves. From astronaut Sally Ride’s obituary, to a UFO Welcome Center, to a shark tooth collection, to DC Comic’s Gay Ghost, this memoir-in-essays draws from mythology, religion, popular culture, and personal experience to examine how coming out is not a one-time act. At once heartrending and beautiful, The Rib Joint explores how fear and loss can inhabit our bodies and, contrastingly, how naming our desire allows us to feel the heart beating in our chest.
“A brilliant, unsettling book.” —Paul Lisicky, author of Later
“Engaging, poignant, and at times wryly humorous … Julia Koets writes with vulnerability, warmth, and a lyrical style that pulls the reader straight through to the end.” —Kristen Iversen, author of Full Body Burden
123 printed pages
Original publication
Red Hen Press


    Khaoula Zrirashared an impression2 years ago
    👍Worth reading

    Crystal Vega-Huertashared an impression22 days ago
    👍Worth reading

    b4013345682shared an impressionlast month
    🙈Lost On Me


    b4013345682has quotedlast month
    Narratives of queerness are infinite. They do not always begin at birth. They cannot always be traced to childhood. A story can begin in medias res, as a wave begins in the middle of the ocean.’”

    —Danielle Deulen, author of The Riots
    Azi Satriahas quoted2 years ago
    You can’t be what you can’t see.

On the bookshelves

    Picks of the week
    • 689
    • 171
    All About Them
    • 40
    • 35
    • 21
    • 2
    Lindsay Smith
    • 2
    • 1
    Jazmin Grajeda
    Para leer
    • 28
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)