Photo of Taylor Brorby by Carroll Foster
Carroll Foster

ND Author Taylor Brorby To Talk About His Book ‘Boys And Oil’ At Zandbroz In March


Regional author Taylor Brorby will read from and talk about his new book, Boys And Oil —
growing up gay in a fractured land
at Zandbroz Variety in downtown Fargo on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 P.M. He will be available to sign books after his presentation.

In visceral prose, Brorby recalls his upbringing in Center, ND, and later in Bismarck; his adolescent infatuation with books; and how he felt intrinsically different from other boys in his home state. Childhood memories of picking chokecherries and fishing for bluegill with his beloved grandfather are soon replaced with the recollections of a closeted adolescent-of taunting and mocking, even beatings, from peers. Still, Brorby remained in North Dakota until he was outed to his family, and it became clear that to survive at home, he had to leave it, first.

Drawing readers into the tumultuous relationships of his early adulthood, Brorby relays his decision to flee North Dakota-physically, but never spiritually-for Minnesota, and eventually to come out on his own terms. Now an environmentalist, Brorby casts the prairie as a place of vulnerability, “where humans and animals must be resilient to survive.”

Using the terror he experienced as a youth as a metaphor for the destruction of his homeland, Brorby describes his awakening as an activist, his arrest in Iowa at the Dakota Access Pipeline, and his yearning for the lush green grass and brown buttes of his childhood, “for a way to return.”

“I have been waiting for this book, Boys and Oil is more than a memoir, it is a protest,” says writer and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams. “There is nothing sentimental in these pages. The literary West is more complete because of this stand-up story of beauty and brokenness by a fearless writer named Brorby.”

Taylor Brorby is an essayist and poet. He is the co-editor of Fracture: Essays, Poems and Stories on Fracking in America. He is the Annie Clark Tanner Fellow in Environmental Humanities and Environmental Justice at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah.

If you go…

Taylor Brorby Author Talk & Signing

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Zandbroz Variety
420 Broadway, Fargo, ND 58102

Hosted by Zandbroz in collaboration with Concordia College