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Kiese Laymon

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

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'I've had guns pulled on me by four people under Central Mississippi skies – once by a white undercover cop, once by a young brother trying to rob me for the left-overs of a weak work-study check, once by my mother and twice by myself. Not sure how or if I've helped many folks say yes to life, but I've definitely aided in a few folks dying slowly in America, all without the aid of a gun'Kiese Laymon grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. That was where he started to write and where he began to seek to create an honest account of living in the US, a country striving to declare itself multi-cultural, post-racial and mostly innocent. This is that account.Drawing on his own personal experiences, these essays are Laymon's attempt to deal with many issues occupying America today, from race, identity and writing to music, celebrity and violence. Through letters between his own disparate family members, pleas to performers whose voices will never be heard again, recollections of his own failure to become a world-famous emcee, analysis of the growing culture of fear in the media and detailed accounts of his clashes with an education system that has both advanced and failed the generation he grew up in, Laymon gets closer not only to the truth behind himself, but to the promises behind the promised land.Searing and passionate, this timely collection of essays introduces a vibrant new voice in US literature and offers a unique insight into the forces that are tearing America apart today.
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  • Fer Silvahar citeretfor 3 år siden
    what do we do with the scars? I have scars. Visible scars from falling as a kid. Visible scars from nights of self-inflicted cutting in high school. Visible scars from my recent double mastectomy. Those scars are easier for me to deal with because I know where to find them. I know what might irritate the recent scars on my chest. But what of the scars that you can’t see?
  • Fer Silvahar citeretfor 3 år siden
    The worst of me, I understand, has less power than the worst of white folks, but morally is really no better. The worst of me wants credit for intending to do right by Jermaine, and has no intentions of disrupting my life for the needs of a cousin I always looked up to. I am no more equipped to use or understand the language and work of American responsibility as a grown-ass man than I was as a seventh-grader in the halls of Holy Family Catholic School.

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