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My Awesome Place: Autobiography of Cheryl Burke
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My Awesome Place: Autobiography of Cheryl Burke

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A rare authentic glimpse into the electrifying arts scene of New York City’s East Village during the vibrant 1990s, My Awesome Place is the chronicle of a movement through the eyes of one young woman working to cultivate her voice while making peace with her difficult, often abusive, family.

An unlikely story for someone whose guidance counselor recommended a career as a to
Hardcover, Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Topside Signature (first published January 1st 2012)
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Stephanie Schroeder
Oct 09, 2012 Stephanie Schroeder rated it it was amazing
My Awesome Place illuminates, in excruciating detail and with hilarious social commentary, the author’s rise from the ashes of a bullying, dysfunctional family of origin and troubled young adulthood to darling of the 1990s spoken word scene. The writing is electric and edgy while her story is transfixing. A survivor of abuse and addiction both familial and self-inflicted, Cheryl B carried her wounds with her and used them to make/leave her mark on the queer literary scene --and the world. An ...more
Betsy Housten
Jan 07, 2013 Betsy Housten rated it liked it
Three stars for the form, which is an unfortunate distraction from the content. The fact that the book was put together from disparate sources by Burke's friends after her death is no excuse for the sloppy editing that, in my opinion, is a bit of a dishonor to her memory and her legendary status in the NYC queer literary scene. Innumerable typos, tense fluctuations and narrative inconsistencies abound, taking away from the otherwise-engaging storyline.
Larry-bob Roberts
Blazed through the book - I found it very engaging. Really regret that I didn't have the chance to meet Cheryl in person. Portrays that reality that relationships, particularly with family, are made of a tangle of feelings, from trauma to laughter, from hate to love. Pleased to see that the book was recognized with a Lambda Award in the Bisexual Literature category.
Dec 28, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bitingly funny and insightful, it broke my heart and made me want to do more. Like Cheryl B.'s life, it's over too quickly. I wish there were more.
Cheryl’s friends and her literary executor put together her memoir work so that it could be published and we can know more about her life. Like what it was like to grow up in Staten Island and New Jersey in an alcoholic home with a controlling mom and a dad who broke a plate of spaghetti over her head when she told him she got into NYU. How she drowned her feelings in alcohol and drugs but also learned how to trust her creative spirit. How she became this amazing poet and performer and made a ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Derrick rated it it was amazing
well she calls me "keith" in the book and i almost deduct a star for that because its my least favorite name. for me this book is painful to read, but thats because i loved her. at the same time i think everyone should read it. she'd be so thrilled.
besides my name, my only disappointment in the book is that there isn't more of her poetry in it, so in some ways the book strikes me as a portrait of an artist without any of the art.
but hopefully the book inspires people to look up her art online.
Jan 13, 2013 Piepie rated it really liked it
Cheryl B came of age in the writing/performing arts scene in NY in the 90s-2000s. She died of bleomycin poisoning while being treated for lymphoma in 2011. Her autobiography was finished after her death by members of her writing group.

I enjoyed this (at times painful) memoir which begins with her childhood on Staten Island & NJ and leads you through her college years and on thru her life as a writer & performance artist in NY, concluding with her cancer diagnosis & death.
Lisa Haas
Nov 30, 2012 Lisa Haas rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of Cheryl Burke for over a decade... this is an amazing story of how she pulled herself out of an overwhelmingly oppressive and abusive family of origin dynamic and realized her dream of becoming a writer. You know what? it is really funny, too.
Jill Guccini
Jan 21, 2013 Jill Guccini rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
My full review is up at the Lesbrary: Real good but real sad. Death is stupid.
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