Sean Thor Conroe '21 to Appear with Sheila Heti at 'Fuccboi' Launch

Jessie Shohfi
January 18, 2023

Fuccboi, a debut novel from Sean Thor Conroe ’21, is now out in paperback from Back Bay Books. Conroe will appear in conversation with author Sheila Heti at a launch event on Friday, January 20. 

Set in the recent past of 2017-2019, Fuccboi follows its narrator, also named Sean, as he attempts to publish his first book. Throughout the novel, he works as a delivery boy in Philadelphia, deals with a frustrating skin condition, encounters a multitude of exes–all while trying to write. The book is an experiment in voice, with slang and vernacular dictating much of the content. Heti, known for Pure Color and the serialized A Diary in Alphabetical Order, says Fuccboi “got under [her] skin in the way the best writing can.”

An excerpt published by Vol 1 Brooklyn gives a feel for Conroe’s language: 

“Big cuz E hit me with the gig deets. 

Four days to a week at a farm just outside of Bennington, way up in VT. 

Probably shouldn’t have signed on, how fucked I felt. 

How things didn’t look like they were getting any better.  

Cysts popping up on palms and soles, didn’t know why.  

Cuts on forearms aligned with skin lines.  

Looking like a damn parched-ass desert. 

With grooves that never healed.”

In a profile conducted by Vulture, Conroe was asked if he identifies as a fuckboy. “No, hell no,” he said. Following this thread, he comments on the distinction between the character and himself as the author, saying, “A lot of that book is from a place of, like, Nothing matters. I’m fucked up.”

He expands on this distinction in an interview with the Los Angeles Review of Books, saying, “The decision to give the narrator the name of the author initially came from reading books that do that, from enjoying and wanting to recreate the feeling of intimacy books with those parameters have…I’ve felt critical distance from the narrator of Fuccboi since I wrote it. [He's] a character, moving through a fictional world, in ways I direct him to, in order to investigate the things I want to investigate. Me naming him Sean, and having some biographical details overlap, was just something I did to make the reading experience more exciting for you. I sacrificed myself, merked my government name, for each and every one of you."

Fuccboi received a stellar review from The Wall Street Journal, which calls the work “its generation’s coming of age novel…Utterly of its moment, of this moment.” 

The paperback launch of Fuccboi, featuring Conroe and Heti, will be on Friday, January 20, at McNally Jackson Seaport. Registration for the event is open now, and the novel is available for purchase here

Sean Thor Conroe is a Japanese-American writer. He was born in Tokyo in 1991 and was raised in Scotland, upstate New York, and the greater Bay Area. He studied literature and philosophy at Swarthmore College, and attended Columbia University School of the Arts. He has guest-edited New York Tyrant Magazine and hosts the book podcast 1storypod.