THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, available in May 2015 from Civil Coping Mechanisms



Everyday Genius



Nothing Is Concise or Clear: An Interview with Sean H. Doyle Gawker Review of Books

“Memoir depends on its teller for empathy and insight into its subject’s character. Angry, obliterated, yet, by turns, mournful and self-aware, Doyle lays himself bare. But he manages to do so without eliciting pity or scorn. In others’ hands, similar material — drug abuse, desperate sex, violence, suicidal thoughts — have often resulted in wallowing or descriptions of depravity for depravity’s sake. It is a testament to Doyle’s clear examination and probing of his past that when he drops us into one charged situation after another we neither sink nor are incredulous at the messes he finds himself in. His spare words rescue us from despair, while still communicating the profound pain of just being alive with pinprick precision.”

–Dmitry Samarov, The Chicago Tribune

“If you’re standing in front of the abyss, offered rope, and told you’ll go deep down, be destroyed, put back together again, and returned to sea level, wouldn’t you go? “Of course I go. Why wouldn’t I go?” THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is that descent. Sean H. Doyle holds the ropes and slips you into those dark realms with distinctive power all his own, generosity born of experience, and a voice that will return you home, altered, transformed.”

–Wendy C. Ortiz, author of Excavation: A Memoir, and Hollywood Notebook

“Sean H. Doyle is a punk rock sailor shaman with a message from way down below decks where the guys with horns and hooves go jet skiing on a lake of fire. This Must Be the Place is a ferocious testament to love and loss written with razor blades and backed with blood. An unputdownable debut.”

–Jim Ruland, author of Forest of Fortune

“Reading This Must Be The Place is like getting mugged, and then once the mugger takes your wallet, they push you on the ground. And then once you’re on the ground, they kick you in the stomach, over and over and over again. And then when you think they’ve finally decided to leave you alone, they kick you once more in the teeth. The only difference is that when Sean H. Doyle is mugging you, the experience is cleansing, invigorating, something that tests your heart but also makes it glow, an experience you don’t want to ever stop. Otherwise, they’re basically identical.”

–Juliet Escoria, author of BLACK CLOUD

“This Must Be the Place is the book of an orphan in the wake of his delirium struggling to make sense of the loss that caused it. Sean H. Doyle is a walker of fire and slayer of ghouls whose numberless prolonged trials have stripped him of human dross and discrimination alike. Absence is a mentor, in his world, anguish a mold, compassion the reward. If after reading Doyle’s story you don’t fancy him caressing the brow of Despair itself, it won’t be because he’s failed to tell it well. It broke me, this book, then it took my hand and kissed me. I am changed, now, and so much the better, too.”

–D. Foy, author of Made To Break

“I can do simple math,” Sean H. Doyle writes in This Must Be the Place. And so he adds it up: the homes, the deceased, the knockouts, the wars, the storms. Doyle renders these scenes with a stoicism and brutality paired with a relentless sense of wonder at his world

–Chelsea Hodson, author of Pity The Animal

“I could not put this book down once I started, and when I finished, I just sat on my couch staring at it. This Must Be the Place is like walking into a bar and getting into a brawl and waking up on the floor of the one-stall bathroom and sobbing against all your lousy mistakes, all your longings for what hurts you the most, and most of all, against all your losses you can’t do a damn thing about.”

–Jill Talbot, author of The Way We Weren’t

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