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Book Club Zoom Discussing "There Will Be No Miracles Here" by Casey Gerald (Yale MC '09)

Join us for a lively discussion of There Will be No Miracles Here, by author Casey Gerald (Yale MC '09). A "rags to riches" story of going from Texas to Yale on scholarship to Wall Street and more. RSVP for Zoom Link.

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

8:00-9:30 pm ET (Eastern Time); 5 pm Pacific Time

Please RSVP for the Zoom link. (Zoom is the same as last month)

Thursday, March 16, 2023: Reading "There Will be No Miracles Here" by Casey Gerald (Yale MC '09). 

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1. There Will be No Miracles Here by Casey Gerald (Yale MC '09) (2018-400 pages). 



"Somehow Casey Gerald has pulled off the most urgently political, most deeply personal, and most engagingly spiritual statement of our time by just looking outside his window and inside himself. Extraordinary." —Marlon James

"Staccato prose and peripatetic storytelling combine the cadences of the Bible with an urgency reminiscent of James Baldwin in this powerfully emotional memoir." —BookPage

The testament of a boy and a generation who came of age as the world came apart—a generation searching for a new way to live.

Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year's Eve 1999, when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather's black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey--following in the footsteps of his father, a gridiron legend who literally broke his back for the team--is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he's never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. He sees how the elite perpetuate the salvation stories that keep others from rising. And he sees, most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme. 

There Will Be No Miracles Here has the arc of a classic rags-to-riches tale, but it stands the American Dream narrative on its head. If to live as we are is destroying us, it asks, what would it mean to truly live? Intense, incantatory, shot through with sly humor and quiet fury, There Will Be No Miracles Here inspires us to question--even shatter--and reimagine our most cherished myths. 


“Stunningly original … By breaking every rule of the … genre, [Gerald has] created something unique and sublime: a beautiful chronicle of a life as yet unfinished … a shining and sincere miracle of a book.” –NPR

“Gerald writes a powerful commentary on race in America simply by telling his life story.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Undeniably inspirational…a literary and often dark look at the effects the national virtue of self-reliance can have on the people who live according to it, with particularly moving passages about the atmosphere of stress, pain, and racial divides on college campuses.” Vanity Fair

“Gorgeously written and uncommonly insightful.” People Magazine

“Searing . . . rendered in vivid, painful, and regularly funny reminiscence. But more than anything else, this bildungsroman is a wry document of American class strata.” – O, The Oprah Magazine

“Magnificent… at turns exuberant, humorous, unsentimental, imaginative, keen. … The locus of the book is [Gerald’s] extraordinary journey. … Along the way, he learns plenty about his country, the elites who run it and the underclass subject to their rule. He often relays his insight with indelible aphorism. …His life, and this memoir, serve as proof of his prodigious talents, of the truth that, for the gifted like him, struggles … can yield something miraculous.” New York Times Book Review

“Infuriating and deeply moving . . . It’s a rare memoirist who does not just recall, but inhabits the past, who understands that memory is a pliable thing, a means to, not the end of, a story . . . There’s a bit of Barbara Kingsolver in this, a bit of James Baldwin . . . urgent, lyrical [and] timely.” –Texas Observer 


 2. About Casey Gerald (Yale MC '09) 

Casey Gerald (Yale MC '09) grew up in Oak Cliff, Texas and went to Yale, where he majored in political science, played varsity football and interned at Lehman. After receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, he cofounded MBAs Across America. He has been featured on PBS Newshour, MSNBC, at TED and SXSW, on the cover of Fast Company, and in The New York Times, Financial Times, and many more.

Ted Talk Profile:

Ted Talk "The Gospel of Doubt" (2016):


Wikipedia Entry: 

3. Where to find the book: 

Google Books

Other sources: your library (including inter-library loan), retailers, Amazon Kindle edition is $10.99 [direct link] or use the free Kindle app on any device; book is available from all booksellers in every format).  

It also may be available to borrow (for free) on WorldCat   
(Enter your location)

Alas it isn't available at OpenLibrary  or The Internet Archive

Used book sellers include

Better World Books - $5.37


Alibris Books  



4. *OPTIONAL RESOURCES* for the book and author here:  


Penguin Random House Publisher's page:

Reading Guide



5. Reviews

Yale Alumni Magazine

 “Original, important books often defy summary, and even a string of quotations can’t capture the reading experience. This is true of Casey Gerald’s There Will Be No Miracles Here...In eloquent prose, and with a fluid storytelling that helps explain the viral popularity of his TED talk, Gerald unfolds a coming-of-age tale by turns poignant and triumphant, fierce and surprising. It is a telling that hums with humor, erudition, and grace.” – Yale Alumni Magazine


NPR Review: 


School Library Journal

"When the author was 12, he waited for the Rapture at his paternal grandfather's church in Dallas on New Year's Eve in 1999. The new millennium arrived, but the world did not end. Gerald's father, Rod, a former college football hero, fell from grace, succumbing to drugs and prison life. The author's mother, Debra, had mental health issues and was in and out of his life. Gerald and his older sister, Tashia, lived off their mother's disability checks. He became a varsity football star at South Oak Cliff High School and was recruited to play football on a scholarship at Yale. He entered the educational and political echelons of society, navigating power lunches, secret societies, and success on Wall Street and Washington, DC and overseas. But Gerald soon becomes aware of social inequalities. He also struggles with his burgeoning sexuality, disillusionment, and loneliness at the top. This memoir moves away from the tropes of the American dream and "succeeding against the odds." Biblical and literary references are threaded throughout. Gerald's love for American political and cultural history is astounding. Some readers will find parts hard to read, especially given the use of the N word and Gerald's portrayal as the anti-poster child of the LGBTQ communities. VERDICT An eye-opening purchase for mature teens.—Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library"

Publishers Weekly


–> ** INVITE ** ANY YALE ALUMNI to our discussion on March 16: 


NOTE: Our informal group doesn’t have any set “curriculum;” we discuss the books that members nominate and that we all vote for… but ongoing themes, connected to LGBTQ+ experience – sometimes including Yale – do emerge. At discussions, each of us can bring up ANY points we want. We welcome the widest range of opinions, in a lively collegial atmosphere – Boola Boola Redux! 


Yale GALA LGBTQ+ Book Club is a series of lively Zoom discussions of LGBTQ+ contemporary and classic novels, non-fiction, plays, and poetry. All alumni are welcome, of all orientations, genders, races, and points of view. We meet the third Thursday of every month at 8 pm ET via Zoom. 


To register, please email with the subject line, “Yale GALA LGBTQ+ Book Club: There Will Be No Miracles Here by Casey Gerald (Yale MC '09) -- or simply Book Club

More Info:

Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 8 pm
Genderqueer by Maia Kobabe - (either the paperback or the slightly longer hardcover book)




We are NOT limited to the below recommendations but see what you think of these diverse titles. Nominate any LGBTQ+ book that interests you, contemporary or classic, whether a work of FICTION (novel, story collection), NON-FICTION (history, biography, memoir, essay collection), PLAY (or musical), or POETRY; there doesn’t need to be a Yale connection. Mention your choice, at a discussion, and I’ll add it to the following list for future group emails. We periodically, live at the beginning of discussions, take nominations and then vote as a group.

For our UPCOMING OPEN DATES (‘Third Thursdays’) – in the next couple of months, we need to select books for: March , April and May.  
If you’re looking for some ideas, here are major LGBTQ+ book ‘best lists’ and award winners (Lambda Literary, Publishing Triangle, Stonewall Awards, more). NEW!  BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) LGBTQ+ literature with links to external BIPOC sites. You’re not limited to those websites. PLEASE NOTE: new titles take a few months to become widely available in libraries. Here are members’ recommendations.


  • AMAN recommends: (FICTION) Delicious Foods by James Hannaham;  Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu;  The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.;  The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer.  (NON-FICTION) Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition by P Carl;  Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay; Love, Hait and Click Bait by Liz Bower and Ghost Wall: A Novel by Sarah Moss.
  • ANN recommends: The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village memoir by Samuel R. Delany
  • BRUCE recommends: Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin;  The Gallery by John Horne Burns (1947); Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns by David Margolick
  • CHIP recommends: Poetry of Emily Dickinson (list of Dickinson’s most openly lesbian poems); There Will be No Miracles Here by Casey Gerald; and Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns by David Margolick
  • JIM recommends: The Bell by Iris Murdoch;  The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde;  Julian [last ‘pagan’ Roman emperor] by Gore Vidal;  Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts by James M. Saslow (includes hundreds of art photos; winner of two Lambda Literary Awards) – THANKS to Prof. Saslow, Pictures and Passions is briefly FREE to download complete (use the basic “Download PDF” link; 59 MB) and Gilgamesh (which translation). 
  • MARY ANNE recommends: The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen; and Love Me Tender by Constance Debre (English translation and/or French original). 
  • TASH recommends: Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry. There is also a PBS documentary :) 
  • CAROLYN recommends: Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl b Andrea Lawlor and XX by Carolina Robertis
  • What would YOU – including new members – like our group to discuss? Nominate ANY LGBTQ+ book that interests you! I’ll add your recommendations here.





  • February 2023: Love in the Big City by Sang Jong Park and Anton Hur (2021 - 201 pages)
  • January 2023: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  • December 2022: Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies:A Memoir of Love, Loss and Other Four-Letter Words by Michael Ausiello (2017). Also a Dec 2022 movie Spoiler
  • November 2022: Love, Hate and Click Bait by Liz Bowery (2022)
  • October 2022: Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry (Yale '94).  (2018) - 250 pages. PBG movie is Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart
  • September 2022: Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, by Andrea Lawlor (2017)
  • May and June 2022: Maurice, by EM Forster (1913 - published 1971 with a happy ending)
  • April 2022: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
  • March 2022: Ain't I a Woman, by bell hooks
  • February 2022 – Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stephen Sondheim’s “Musical Thriller”
  • January 2022 – Song in a Weary Throat, Pauli Murray’s memoir. (Movie available)
  • December 2021 – Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s novel
  • November 2021 – Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart’s novel
  • October 2021 – Fa**ots, Larry Kramer’s satirical first novel
  • September 2021 – The Sparsholt Affair, Alan Hollinghurst’s novel
  • August 2021 – The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith’s thriller novel
  • July 2021 – Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, Paul Monette’s memoir
  • June 2021 – Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s novel
  • May 2021 – The Inheritance, Matthew Lopez’s play, inspired by E.M. Forster’s novel Howards End
  • April 2021 – The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne’s novel
  • March 2021 – Native Country of the Heart, a Memoir, by Cherríe Moraga
  • February 2021 – Leaves of Grass (1855 first version), Walt Whitman’s poetry
  • January 2021 – The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s novel
  • December 2020 – Call Me by Your Name, André Aciman’s novel [no meetings in October or November]
  • September 2020 – The Gods of Tango, Carolina de Robertis’s novel [no meeting in August]
  • July 2020 – Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta’s novel
  • June 2020 (our first discussion) – Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Audre Lorde’s autobiographical novel (“biomythography”)


 More info:

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