A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
Hanif Abdurraqib (Author)
March 30, 2021
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About the Author
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in PEN American, Muzzle, Vinyl, and other journals, and his essays and criticism have been published in The New Yorker, Pitchfork, The New York Times, and Fader. His first full-length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer book award and nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us was named a book of the year by NPR, Esquire, BuzzFeed, O: The Oprah Magazine, Pitchfork and Chicago Tribune, among others. Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award and Kirkus Prize finalist and was longlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune for Your Disaster, won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He is a graduate of Beechcroft High School.
"A thoughtful memoir rolled into a set of joined essays on life, death, and the Black experience in America . . . Social criticism, pop culture, and autobiography come together neatly in these pages, and every sentence is sharp, provocative, and self-aware. Another winner from Abdurraqib."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A rapturous exploration of Black genius . . . Whether heralding unsung entertainers or reexamining legends, Hanif Abdurraqib weaves together gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance. I read this book breathlessly."--Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half "Abdurraqib is one of the most brilliant writers I've ever read. A Little Devil in America needs to be on every bedside table, every high school and college desktop--in this age of revolution, this is that one book that everyone needs to read. Pure genius. I'm not trying to get at even some of the brilliance Hanif gets to with this book--there is just too much. From Black exceptionalism to Josephine Baker to old heads--he brings it and clarifies it, then shapes it into every bit of medicine we need right now."--Jacqueline Woodson