Jon D. Gemma’s ‘The Sun Made Me Sneeze,’ is a frank and engrossing autobiography of a young man’s journey as he attempts to define himself through art.
Many books are written about a young man’s journey for self-discovery. Some are great, others too self-indulgent—typically, though, they are works of fiction. Jon D. Gemma’s The Sun Made Me Sneeze is a nonfiction version of these tales; honest and unflinching, the book catalogues the author’s own youth and his struggle to overcome the labels so often associated with mental illness.
After struggling to fit in and make friends, a young Jon is diagnosed as schizotypal. He struggles through adolescence and the grip of institutions, while hoping to achieve greatness. Deeply impacted by the ‘dehumanizing’ labels that have been thrust upon him his whole life, Gemma muses about his life, searching for meaning. His writing carries a sense of unreality, while references to pop culture anchor the piece in the familiarity of our world.
Like many journeys of self-discovery, The Sun Made Me Sneeze is a bold search for truth. However, Gemma’s search reaches further and deeper, questioning the existence of God, fear, aliens, and the known universe. The reader questions reality along with him, making for an engrossing and exciting experience.
The Sun Made Me Sneeze is a courageous piece; Jon D. Gemma’s lifelong isolation allows him insights that many others do not see. In some ways reminiscent of Salinger, Gemma’s writing distinguishes itself in its autobiographical nature. It is more winding yet more fragmented; a portrait of the man himself, and his lifelong struggles as he continues to pursue truth.
Jon D. Gemma
Jon D. Gemma was born in Rhode Island in 1974, and has lived there for the greater part of his life. He has an Associates In Fine Arts from the Community College Of Rhode Island and graduated with honors.
He has published six books.
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Jon D. Gemma