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Anthony Drayton

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A.S. Drayton rediscovered his love for writing and weaving tales while working on his award-winning memoir Are You Okay? The Carryover of Kindness.

What began in 2019 as a one-off project, dedicated to his future children, grew into something more. Through the process, Anthony found his passion, and with the collaboration of his talented friends, A.S. Drayton Books was born.

The goal is simple: promote personal growth through books and short stories (both fiction and nonfiction) that foster a mindset of both introspection and the expansion of one’s horizons.

ARE YOU OKAY? Cover
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

ARE YOU OKAY?

BY Anthony Drayton • POSTED ON Jan. 5, 2022

A debut memoir explores college life and friendship.

In this work, Drayton, a writer and the proprietor of A.S. Drayton Books, provides readers with a story about fighting feelings of worthlessness, focusing on how a stranger’s asking him “Are you okay?” one night changed his life. Curiously, Anthony Lunan, this stranger-turned-friend, did not stay in the author’s life for long. Personal circumstances necessitated Lunan’s leaving the university they both attended. Yet Drayton emphasizes that this recollection of a chance meeting is more than a “throwaway” in regard to the rest of the memoir. Lunan brought the author into a circle of friends who remained steady throughout Drayton’s many personal and academic trials and would be around years later to celebrate his forthcoming wedding. This book presents an engrossing picture of the life of a contemporary college student at George Mason University, a public college in Northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C. As such, this story delivers plenty of rich details and “local color,” including the Washington scavenger hunt that was part of Drayton’s fraternity’s pledge initiation. Indeed, a demand related to this scavenger hunt that the author found deeply offensive is part of his dramatic account of what he describes as a battle for the soul of the fraternity he joined and ended up staying with. He speaks at length about his struggle to find the right woman to love long-term and his fears that he never would. Drayton also recounts with bracing honesty the joys of using a hookah, both privately and in social settings. In addition, he briefly touches on being a Black man between Black and White social worlds. The book’s narrative flows well overall (even with the sometimes-distracting detours into the author’s dreams that seem all too real), though there is something of a disconnect in the account before what should be identified as an epilogue. Still, this is an engaging and human story about finding friendship and gaining confidence.

A compelling account that shows the difference a single act of kindness can make.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66781-176-5

Page count: 282pp

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2022

Awards, Press & Interests

ARE YOU OKAY?: Indie Reader Discovery Awards - Winner, 2022

ARE YOU OKAY?: Eric Hoffer Award Finalist, 2022

ARE YOU OKAY?: Independent Publisher Book Awards - Bronze Medalist, 2022

ARE YOU OKAY?: Next Generation Indie Book Awards - Double Finalist (African American Non-Fiction & Memoirs), 2022