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This Is Not a Confession

4.78  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Literary Nonfiction. Essays. Through these powerful and insightful essays, David Olimpio explores the residual effects of sexual abuse, divorce, and grief. With surprising candor and a disarming sense of humor, Olimpio takes on the outwardly wholesome landscape of his suburban Houston childhood and the complex sexual relationships in his adult life. Both poignant and poeti ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published April 22nd 2016 by Awst Press
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Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Funny and thought provoking. This is Not a Confession is unapologetically honest, raw, real, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing these bits of your life with us, Dave!
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Blurbed, with pleasure -

"In the end, our stories are the most powerful things we have," David Olimpio writes in THIS IS NOT A CONFESSION. Born not of a singular form but forged from many - essay, memoir, hybrid, collage - this book is as textured and varied as the human experience. It may defy easy classification, but readers will agree: here is an unforgettable debut that will shatter you. With devastating honesty and keen, poetic insight, Olimpio captures the fluidity of time and selfhood as h
Shannon Perri
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This glorious essay collection is boldly relentless in its investigations. A meditation on time, memory, and the construction of personal narrative, this one is a must read for anyone interested in the meanings we as humans try to construct, despite all the proof that we are nothing more than dust in the wind. Also, Olimpio is an Old 97's fan. Instant credibility.
Amanda Miska
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Funny, engaging, heartbreaking, illuminating. A testament to what non-fiction can do.
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THIS IS NOT A CONFESSION is a confession. Olimpio tells us what he isn't doing, then does it. This book is rough and behind the gorgeous cover there is real hurt and pain. So much of it was hard to for me to read because of the intense emotion involved...but when are confessions/intense emotions ever easy? This book felt like late-night conversations in a car with the pedal all the way down, slick, curvy roads, eyes wide-open. THIS IS NOT A CONFESSION made me want to write, to confess. THIS IS N ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I always think a sign of a good book is one that you think about long after you finish it. It hasn't been that long, but I know that I will be thinking about this book for a long time. Beautiful, brutal, lovely, uncomfortable, intellectual and candid. Read it.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read it. And blurbed it, yo.

"...a road map, a refutation and a reminder that while shame and confusion may well reverberate across time, we need not be the products of the transgressions visited upon us."
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David Olimpio's writing voice is SUPERB. Strong and steady, yet light and vulnerable. Not easy with such challenging subject matter. I didn't want this book to end. A book to re-read.
Nat Woosley
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A powerful story, both haunting and beautiful. A story of heartbreak and yet still hopeful. This was an engaging read, and I finished it easily in a day.
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With respect to fellow reviewer Leesa, I have to disagree with her. THIS IS NOT A CONFESSION is, truly, no confession. Olimpio addresses this head-on within "The Big Bad Wolf": "You will never fucking shame me." A confession requires guilt and knowledge of wrongdoing. Olimpio doesn't, and shouldn't, feel guilty. As some people say to assault survivors, "I'm sorry for what was done to you" instead of "I'm sorry for what happened to you." Olimpio writes about heavy topics, but he never fails to sh ...more
Joe Mule'
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any adult
a tremendous book... one with complete honesty... David placed all of his emotions out there for all to see and in such a way that was entertaining... much like a story board for a movie.... I laughed.... I cried..... and I was angry... made me think and review my own life... definitely worth the read...
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Raw and aptly titled. I devoured this book quickly, perhaps because I grew up knowing David. We all have stories of our life, some are hard,whether it's divorce, sex, love, pain, we are never alone.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Keith by: Hjem
If you have ever wanted a content/trigger warning for anything, ever, walk away from this book. Ditto if you hate "Frisco" (though no part of it appears to take place there, being centered more in Texas), have ever used "them queers" or "slut" as an epithet, or think NPR is Communist infiltration of the American airwaves.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in an intensely personal, confrontational—yet "not a confession"—autobiographical work that skirts the edges of the memoir genre while
Dorothy Bendel
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a gut-punch collection—and I mean that in a good way. I admire its honesty, thoughtful reflection, and willingness to dig deep into pain.
Kimberly Sadberry Spaeth
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, poetic and philosophical collection of essays that takes the reader through a gamut of emotions.
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David Olimpio grew up in Texas, but currently lives and writes in Northern New Jersey. He believes that we create ourselves through the stories we tell, and that is what he aims to do every day. Usually, you can find him driving his truck around the Garden State with his dog. He has been published in Barrelhouse The Nervous Breakdown, Awst Press, The Austin Review, Rappahannock Review, Crate, and ...more

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“When I threw the stick at Jamie, I hadn't intended to hit him with it. But the moment it left my hand, I knew that's what was going to happen. I didn't yet know any calculus or geometry, but I was able to plot, with some degree of certainty, the trajectory of that stick. The initial velocity, the acceleration, the impact. The mathematical likelihood of Jamie's bloody cheek.

It had good weight and heft, that stick. It felt nice to throw. And it looked damn fine in the overcast sky, too, flying end over end, spinning like a heavy, two-pronged pinwheel and (finally, indifferently, like math) connecting with Jamie's face.

Jamie's older sister took me by the arm and she shook me. Why did you do that? What were you thinking? The anger I saw in her eyes. Heard in her voice. The kid I became to her then, who was not the kid I thought I was. The burdensome regret. I knew the word "accident" was wrong, but I used it anyway. If you throw a baseball at a wall and it goes through a window, that is an accident. If you throw a stick directly at your friend and it hits your friend in the face, that is something else.

My throw had been something of a lob and there had been a good distance between us. There had been ample time for Jamie to move, but he hadn't moved. There had been time for him to lift a hand and protect his face from the stick, but he hadn't done that either. He just stood impotent and watched it hit him. And it made me angry: That he hadn't tried harder at a defense. That he hadn't made any effort to protect himself from me.

What was I thinking? What was he thinking?

I am not a kid who throws sticks at his friends. But sometimes, that's who I've been. And when I've been that kid, it's like I'm watching myself act in a movie, reciting somebody else's damaging lines.

Like this morning, over breakfast. Your eyes asking mine to forget last night's exchange. You were holding your favorite tea mug. I don't remember what we were fighting about. It doesn't seem to matter any more. The words that came out of my mouth then, deliberate and measured, temporarily satisfying to throw at the bored space between us. The slow, beautiful arc. The spin and the calculated impact.

The downward turn of your face.

The heavy drop in my chest.

The word "accident" was wrong. I used it anyway.”
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