The Trayvon Generation


Product Details

$22.00  $20.46
Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.1 X 0.8 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Elizabeth Alexander is a prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author, renowned poet, educator, scholar, and cultural advocate. Her most recent book, The Trayvon Generation (2022), is a galvanizing meditation on the power of art and culture to illuminate America's unresolved problem with race and the challenges facing young Black America. Among the fifteen books she has authored or co-authored, her memoir, The Light of the World, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2015 and her poetry collection American Sublime was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2006. Notably, Dr. Alexander composed and recited "Praise Song for the Day" for President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. Over the course of an esteemed career in education, she has held distinguished professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for fifteen years and chaired the African American Studies Department. Dr. Alexander is currently president of the Mellon Foundation, the nation's largest funder in the arts, culture, and humanities.


Praise for Elizabeth Alexander and The Light of the World:

[Alexander] seems much like Walt Whitman. She sings the American song.--Maya Angelou
Magnificent.-- First Lady Michelle Obama, from an interview in The Skimm
She shows us how feeding your family and remembering to be aware of the small details of everyday life are the bedrocks of true connection. In this book of prose, each page is a poem.--O, The Oprah Magazine
Elizabeth Alexander creates intellectual magic.--The New York Times Book Review
Elizabeth Alexander is a student, and dare I say, master of the craft. Her work is inspirational in a way that The Great inspirational, in that it just says so much about who we are.--The Atlantic
This is a gorgeous love story, written by one of America's greatest contemporary poets... Elizabeth Alexander is a prose writer of deep talent and affecting skill.--James McBride, National Book Award-winning author of The Good Lord Bird and #1 New York Times bestseller The Color of Water
Alexander explores tensions inherent in gender and race and expresses the ambivalence of motherhood in jazz-inflected tones.--ELLE
The Light of the World is crushing, lovely, painful, and above all powerful. It is difficult to believe that anyone who has suffered loss will remain unaffected by this marvelous book.--New York Journal of Books
It is both raw and exquisitely crafted, mercilessly direct and sometimes lavishly metaphorical... The Light of the World is, quite simply, a miracle.--Boston Sunday Globe
Professor Alexander is a virtuosic writer and a shrewd analyst of American letters, a polyglot who moves fluently from essay to sonnet, from free verse to drama--and in her teaching, traces equally diverse themes.--The Root
"Punctuated with gripping pieces of art that complement the text. Each piece is compelling in its own right as they entwine with the representation of human experience that Alexander demonstrates for readers... At its core, this is a powerful treatise on the humanity of Black Americans and how it has been denied, how generations of people have persisted despite that fact, and how it continues to be one of the most pressing issues we face as a nation. A dynamic critique on the sprawling effects of racism and its effects on today's youth."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Poet and memoirist Alexander deftly blends family history and cultural criticism in this bittersweet essay collection on race, memory, and memorialization...Alexander is a thoughtful and eloquent chronicler of racial anxiety and pain."--Booklist (starred review)
Praise for The Trayvon Generation:

"The Trayvon Generation is definitely essential reading for every generation."--Cosmopolitan
"An essential read for our times by the only person who could've written it so exquisitely."--Ms. Magazine
"Vigorous and inspiring...By capturing the rich spectrum of Black culture in America, Alexander offers hope and instruction for younger generations. The result is a thought-provoking must-read."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A very moving short book that seeks to challenge readers' assumptions about American society; highly recommended for all libraries and for reading groups."--Library Journal (starred review)
"A powerful book which unveils the ways in which race is woven so deeply into the fabric of American culture, and sheds a light on how art can reveal the urgency of this issue."--Town & Country