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Review request: 'Unlawful DISorder'

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A tale of self-determination in a world that refuses to listen.


Bowie doesn’t intend to kill hurt his mother—he just wants to collect his social security check from her. But when she throws around words like hallucinating and tells him he’s “hearing things,” his fear is triggered, and he takes action. This event, coupled with a history of reported psychotic episodes, a gambling addiction, his sexual preference for other men, and a shimmer that whispers vile things to him, sets Bowie on a collision course with mental health professionals, the police, and the prison system.


In sharp, unapologetic prose, David Jackson Ambrose explores the intersection of race, sexuality, and mental health in the United States.


                                                Advance Praise


A compulsively readable tale of Black gay love, buried family secrets, homophobia, madness and who gets to be called sane; a cutting portrayal of the failings of America’s mental health system."

     John R. Gordon, author of Drapetomania; Noah's Arc



“The inner life of people with mental disabilities has never been portrayed with such startling nuance, compassion, and complexity. The disabling effects of our mental health system are explored, exposed, and exploded through two unforgettable characters in this powerful page-turner. David Jackson Ambrose once again proves himself to be a master storyteller of the stories America refuses to tell.” 

—Jennifer Natalya Fink, Author and Professor,

Georgetown University


About the Author

David Jackson Ambrose has an MFA in Creative Writing from Temple University, an MA in Writing Studies from Saint Joseph’s University, and a BA in Africana Studies from The University of Pennsylvania.

His debut novel, State of the Nation, was a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist in the Gay Fiction category. His second novel, A Blind Eye (NineStar Press) was named by Lambda Literary as one of April 2021’s most anticipated books.


Publication Date: June 28, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-938841-97-2

Size: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.

Format: Trade Paperback

Extent: 384 pages

Price: $17.99




Marketing & Media Contact

Vanessa Daunais



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