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Kiese Laymon

Autor(a) de Heavy: An American Memoir

8+ Works 1,968 Membros 76 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Kiese Laymon is an American author and professor, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He attended Millsap College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College and earned his MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. He is the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and mostrar mais Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He has written a novel entitled Long Division; a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America; and a memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir. He won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for nonfiction with his memoir, Heavy. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Author Kiese Laymon at the 2018 Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas, United States. By Larry D. Moore - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74113188

Obras de Kiese Laymon

Associated Works

The Color Purple (1982) — Prefácio, algumas edições19,893 cópias
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (2021) — Contribuinte — 1,524 cópias
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race (2016) — Contribuinte — 867 cópias
bone (2014) — Prefácio, algumas edições207 cópias
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013 (2013) — Contribuinte — 153 cópias
(H)afrocentric Comics: Volumes 1–4 (2017) — Prefácio — 36 cópias
Letters to a Writer of Color (2023) — Contribuinte — 18 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



I found myself reliving many conversations, often in tents on the other side of the world, where my eyes - away from the myth of American exceptionalism and innocence, were opened. Guilty of the privileged sin of thinking I knew more than I did. The America not seen at tables of privilege was always a poorly kept secret. But still.

Still, I got to the essay titled 'Reasonable Doubt and the Lost Presidential Election of 2012' - and the sentence, "I also assumed most of those folks were wondering how retribution for this splendid Black American Achievement would be played out on their bodies" and realized the ugliness of American mythology was uglier than realized - centuries of seeing every moment of progress repaid with a violent backlash. And the need to stop overtalking what's being said and to just shut up and listen.

Kiese Laymon lays down these truths in a way that rips the veneer off the myth. It's storytelling at its finest that resists the urge to compartmentalize discussions of justice from discussions of family from discussions of joy from discussions of grief - showing how pervasive hate is. Even after a person has come to terms with its destructiveness, that's only the beginning of the learning process.

Kiese Laymon needs to be read at every level.
… (mais)
DAGray08 | outras 11 resenhas | Jan 1, 2024 |
As Kiese Laymon's story approaches its end, there's a moment - for maybe half a page - that lulls the reader into a belief in a neat resolution, a final victory, or a happily ever after.

It comes right before the point where the body breaks down and something that I would have seen as success from the outsider, the weight loss, the health, reveals itself as an addiction that slides the speaker past what is healthy into the act of trying to disappear.

The parallels with what failing to reckon with histories of abuse, personal, societal, and the inflicting of terror make this a difficult book to finish. The writing is smooth and direct but the reality that has to be heard on every page and the lies we tell ourselves make reading a few pages at a time valuable. And no matter what I thought I knew of racism and injustice, there's the view of terror practiced on the body and mind that history and news can't show.

I realize early on this story wasn't written for me but it's a realization that made shutting up and listening even more important. The personal gives glimpses that bust through what I thought was wisdom growing up. The connection to the myth of American history busts through the idea that any issue from the past is ever really over. The author's mother mentions with the election of President Obama, the backlash to come, which in itself is true - but also chilling in the realization how often every move forward will be met with this backlash.

Heavy should fill readers with admiration for the author's gift and a rebuke to our own need to cling to illusions about the past and present. And the realization that that success is something that has to be fought for again and again.
… (mais)
DAGray08 | outras 38 resenhas | Jan 1, 2024 |
Just…overwhelming. Brought me to actual tears. Intense, painful, mournful….I can’t even get to angry because it makes me so sad. This fucked up world. People can’t not hurt each other when they most need to love each other. The sickness of racism cast a shadow so deep I can’t see how we get ourselves out of it.
BookyMaven | outras 38 resenhas | Dec 6, 2023 |
"If you haven't read or written or listened to something at least three times, you have never really read, written, or listened. True/False"

Oh I was so thrilled when I heard Kiese Laymon had bought back the rights to his wonderful book so he could revise it. I reread the OG when I heard there would be another edition! So I think at this point, I may have read this four times, since I was going back to the older edition while reading the new edition (for a third time) to see possible changes. The book has always been such a delightful mysterious puzzle. Have I figured it out after reading it four times? I don't think you actually CAN figure this book out. The main change is having the two narratives, the two "versions of Long Division" on separate flip sides of the book, rather than intertwined in the original edition. Honestly, I kind of preferred the original intertwining, so both narratives are unraveled at the same time. At least it's good to find out that the intertwining of narratives wasn't what made the mystery? But this is definitely revised. Character names are changed, some details are definitely removed or added to. (But none of my favorite parts were removed, which is the important part of this revision!!!) This book is so full of heart. You can find more on every rereading. I love that Laymon had a chance to revise this -- meaning there are no unintentional details left out or left confusing. I know the care he put into this. But now, I can't wait for his next book!… (mais)
booklove2 | outras 5 resenhas | Aug 21, 2023 |



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