Matt Caprioli’s One Headlight is a beautifully written coming-of-age story, a tribute to a gorgeously flawed and surprisingly resilient family. In these pages, Caprioli captures all the grace and grit of the “real” Alaska, where poverty, homophobia, and evangelical small-town life exist side-by-side with a lifesaving public school system, a culture of LGBTQ pride, and coffee kiosks that accept IOUs. Caprioli examines love from every desperate angle, from the love of Jesus… to the love of Taco Bell’s family value pack. But most profoundly, One Headlight offers a portrait of the deep and difficult love between a son and his mother and grandmother.…. This memoir is like no other book I have read. It will entertain you as it crushes you.
—Martha Amore, author of In the Quiet Season & Weathered Edge
Caprioli’s prose is frank and insightful, finding the lyricism in everyday objects, turns of phrase, and locales. Here, for instance, he discusses pursuing casual sex in Anchorage after Abby got sick: “Sex is the opposite of death, and spending days with her where she could hardly move her head, or could do nothing but blankly contemplate the enormity of a white, stucco wall—I needed a distraction.” His portrait of Abby is the soul of the book, and she’s revealed as a larger-than-life character who exhibits real problems, and who causes problems for the author, as well. However, she never loses the reader’s sympathy, thanks to his nuanced, nonjudgmental portrayal. The result is a moving rumination on the varying roles that a mother can play in a son’s life, for better and for worse….. An affecting and surprising remembrance about the responsibilities of parents and children.
Quirky humor, bright language, and sharp emotional insight.
—Joe Okonkwo, author of the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction Jazz Moon and Kiss the Scars on the Back of My Neck
“One Headlight” is an inspirational story of resilience and fortitude, as well as learning to appreciate those who have supported you — even in their flawed and perhaps unconventional ways. Matt Caprioli has found success these days because along the way he experienced two things: the always-welcoming energy of New York and momentous power in a quiet drive with those one loves.”
—Chelsea News New York
“[Caprioli’s] memories of coffee shops, local businesses, and school events will resonate with Alaska’s readers, and his depictions of working-class, poverty-level Alaska counterbalance the usual tropes of Alaska as a sublime wilderness.”
— Anchorage Daily News
[One Headlight] is more than another coming-of-age story. It is a love letter to his mother, Abby, a lively woman, who navigates the world with humor and humility, doing her best with the hand she is dealt, both for herself and for the son she so clearly adores.
—Lucian Childs, Editor of the Lambda Literary Nominee Building Fires in the Snow
A&E journalism, creative writing, business editing