The idea to write to you was not an easy one.
The scar from where the bullet entered my back is still there.
Jerry McGill was thirteen years old, walking home through the projects of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, when he was shot in the back by a stranger. Jerry survived, wheelchair-bound for life; his assailant was never caught. Thirty years later, Jerry wants to say something to the man who shot him.
I have decided to give you a name.
I am going to call you Marcus.
With profound grace, brutal honesty, and devastating humor, Jerry McGill takes us on a dramatic and inspiring journey—from the streets of 1980s New York, where poverty and violence were part of growing up, to the challenges of living with a disability and learning to help and inspire others, to the long, difficult road to acceptance, forgiveness, and, ultimately, triumph.
I didn’t write this book for you, Marcus. I wrote this for those who endure.
Those who manage. Those who are determined to move on.
“Inspiring.”—Lorrie Moore, The New York Review of Books
“I couldn’t put it down. This is a compelling marriage of remembrance and forgiveness, absolution and compassion, cynicism and understanding.”—Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore
“An unforgettable and intriguing journey . . . Violence, hope, despair, forgiveness, anger, and living with a disability are explored both lightly and deeply, humorously and profoundly, and always honestly.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“An inspirational memoir by a writer who refuses to be defined by his paralysis, as he comes to terms with the unknown man who shot him.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Written with passion, honesty, humor, and a stubborn, rebellious optimism, Dear Marcus is like nothing I’ve ever read. When a bullet in the back told Jerry McGill not to go on, Jerry went on—smiling.”—Shalom Auslander, author of Hope: A Tragedy