Best Memoir: “The Cook-Up” by D. Watkins

This stunning discursive memoir from D. Watkins (who, full disclosure, is a City Paper contributor and friend to the paper) kicks off with the murder of D’s brother Bip and wraps up when Watkins decides to give up dealing and, in that sense, is a grounded, rakish story of a young man in transition. But it’s how we get there with Watkins as he navigates the boring boss responsibilities of handling a small cadre of hustlers and balances business with responsibility to his community and finds some time to grow up himself. As we wrote earlier this year, “The Cook-Up” “spans Baltimore, with stops at bougie jazz festivals, skeezy car lots off Route 40, snotty creative writing classes, and white boy-wasted parties at Loyola, as well as the nervy struggle of East Baltimore.” Also, what other Baltimore book has an ice cream flavor (see: Best Collaboration) named after it?

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