On the Same Page: My Government Means to Kill Me

picture of author Rasheed Newson

June - August 2024 Selection

My Government Means to Kill Me

Rasheed Newson

Rasheed Newson discusses his groundbreaking page-turning novel, My Government Means to Kill Me, in conversation with Pulitzer-prize winning author Andrew Sean Greer.

Newson's My Government Means to Kill Me follows the journey of Earl "Trey" Singleton III, a young gay Black man who leaves his affluent family in Indianapolis to navigate 1980s New York City. Trey finds himself in a place of political and social reckoning, forming connections with figures like civil rights leader Bayard Rustin and facing off against his negligent landlord, Fred Trump. As Trey immerses in gay rights activism and directly involved with ACT UP, he grapples with the complexities of family and the realities of life and death. Through a blend of historical events and fictional narrative, Newson delivers a dynamic a Black Queer coming-of-age in 80s NYC set in the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic.

Newson is the author of the debut novel, My Government Means to Kill Me (Flatiron Books, 2022), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice for 2022 and a finalist for the LAMBDA Literary Award for Gay Fiction. He is also a writer and co-executive producer of the hit television shows Bel-Air, The Chi and Narcos, along with his creative partner T.J. Brady.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, he is the oldest of three children. He currently resides in Pasadena, California with his husband and two children.

On Wed., Aug. 14, Newson will be in conversation with Andrew Sean Greer.

Greer is the author of seven works of fiction, including the bestsellers his recent book, Less Is Lost, the follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize winning, Less. Greer has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford and the Iowa Writers Workshop. He was a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He lives in San Francisco and Milan.

Related Events

On the Same Page Book Club: My Government Means to Kill Me - Wed., Aug. 7, 7 p.m., Virtual Library

Author Talk - Rasheed Newson and Andrew Sean Greer in conversation - Wed., Aug. 14, 6 p.m.

“Don’t reject the space you gravitate toward just because the windows aren’t stained glass and the congregation isn’t saved.”
― Rasheed Newson, My Government Means to Kill Me


“Full of joy and righteous anger, sex and straight talk, brilliant storytelling and humor, Rasheed Newson’s debut novel has given us the story of Trey, set against the history of 80s queer Black New York, AIDS, and the movements that changed the era. A spectacularly researched Dickensian tale with vibrant characters and dozens of famous cameos, it is precisely the book we’ve needed for a long time. That—and a rollicking read! What more could you want?”

- Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of LESS