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New Jersey Me


New Jersey Me explores an ensemble cast of unique characters, including Blackwater’s hometown nuclear power plant; a beauty named Baby, Baby’s hell-bent-for-prison boyfriend, Terry; a Mary Kay mom high on Vicodin and Bloody Marys; and an old old tree with a taste for blood. The son of the local police chief, Mark dreams of escaping the small town’s conflicting and oppressive codes of manhood. In the meantime, though, Mark lives a boy’s life, Blackwater-style: netting fish that have been killed by sudden coldwater emissions from the nuclear plant; kidnapping a chimp from the local circus; selling dirty socks to a local eccentric who may hold the key to Mark’s escape; dating a one-legged girl; and observing the increasingly mysterious behavior of his best friend, Jimmy.


On Sale: September 9, 2016

Rare Bird Books

Trade Paperback

ISBN: 978-1-942600-53-4

New Jersey Me (First Chapter)

 (Click and Turn the Pages)

Praise for New Jersey Me

“Gritty and loud, raucous and real, but still somehow hushed and holy—like a love story told in the blacklight room at the back of a Spencer’s Gifts.”

Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day


“New Jersey Me is a hot blooded, highly imaginative, lyrical delight. Rich Ferguson, LA’s street poet laureate, once again distinguishes himself as a unique American voice.”

Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving


“Rich Ferguson’s New Jersey Me is an unforgettable, wild romp through one boy’s coming of age. But it isn’t only fun and games, for behind the chimp, the Mary Kay Cosmetics, the two Bruces (Lee and Springsteen), the coffins, the bongs, the booze and the girl with one leg is a whole lot of tenderness, heart and soul.”

Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Trouble with Lexie


“Rich Ferguson’s New Jersey Me is like one long double live Springsteen LP — if Springsteen had suddenly gone gonzo grammatical magician singing about one-legged lovers and kidnapped chimps, Joan Jett strippers and Mary Kay Cadillacs, the taste of Count Chocula and cigarettes . . . Ferguson’s debut novel burns with big-hearted life.”

Jamie Blaine


“Rich Ferguson’s New Jersey Me is the perfect mating of poetic noir and a carny barker’s banter. His unique vision sounds the death toll of the American suburban dream as it slowly overdoses in the back seat of a smoldering Chevy Vega. Fiction doesn’t get any better than this, and if did, it’d be illegal.”

Patrick O’Neil, author of Gun Needle Spoon


“Richard Ferguson is wonderful–his book, New Jersey Me is playful, grand, and disturbing. His words flow like a new Cadillac drive down Killer Highway 9–“Decked out in a pearl-white blouse, fuchsia skirt, silver high-heeled pumps, and still sporting the remnants of a tan from her last Mary Kay-sponsored vacation to the Bahamas, all she said was: “Well? What do you think?” I think it’s brilliant.”

Jack Grisham, author of An American Demon and Untamed


“Lively, full of heart, and fun to read— New Jersey Me covers a rough stretch in a young man’s life with a light and generous hand. In Mark, his protagonist and our guide, Ferguson builds a consistently appealing and engaging narrator.”

Aimee Bender