Between the World and Me
Between the World and Me
Spiegel & Grau, Hardcover, 9780812993547, 176pp.
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Hailed by Toni Morrison as required reading, a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States (The New York Observer)
This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of race, a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son and readers the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Praise for Between the World and Me
I ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates's journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. Toni Morrison
Powerful and passionate . . . profoundly moving . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Really powerful and emotional. John Legend, The Wall Street Journal
Extraordinary. David Remnick, The New Yorker
Brilliant . . . a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers. The Washington Post
An eloquent blend of history, reportage, and memoir. The Boston Globe
Coates] speaks resolutely and vividly to all of black America. Los Angeles Times
A work that's both titanic and timely . . .the latest essential reading in America's social canon. Entertainment Weekly
The writer, whose Between The World And Me was the winner of this year's National Book Award in nonfiction, talks about his process and the classmate and friend to whom he dedicated the award. More at NPR.org
The winners announced Wednesday night included Adam Johnson in fiction, Ta-Nehisi Coates in nonfiction, Robin Coste Lewis in poetry and Neal Shusterman in young people's literature. More at NPR.org
Growing up in Baltimore, the writer faced threats from both the streets and the police. His book, Between the World and Me, is an open letter to his teenage son. More at NPR.org
Coates writes about race and social issues for The Atlantic. His new book, Between the World and Me, brings to bear his fear that his life and the lives of his loved ones might end unnaturally. More at NPR.org