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How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in…
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How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (2013)

by Kiese Laymon

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Great collection of essays, I am really looking forward to reading his novel now. I didn't really enjoy the Bernie Mac one because I am not familiar enough with him to have that essay resonate. The five letters essay brought me to tears, and the titular essay is very good (I read it more than once). ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
This series of essays by African American writer Kiese Laymon makes for very uncomfortable reading. Among other things, he looks at growing up in Mississippi and he looks at race and racism in America. The fact that people of colour are always "on parole" strikes home particularly because of the almost constant news lately--though I guess it has always been that way and is just becoming more evident now to people in the comfortable middle class. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Laymon writes of his Mississippi childhood, of learning how being black was probable cause and how the worst of white folks always put him at risk, of hip-hop, and other topics in this essay collection. I really like people who try to use techniques from one genre in another, so I was intrigued when he said he wanted the book to follow the form of some of his favorite albums, but I don’t think I got as much out of that as I could had I known the albums. The strongest work was what I’d read before in published essays—how white culture “forgot that it came to this country on a boat, then reacted violently when anything or anyone suggested it share,” how it forced “our mamas and grandmas to work themselves sick for a tiny sliver of an American pie it needed to believe it had made from scratch.” The worst of white folks is “all at once crazy-making and quick to discipline us for acting crazy. It had an insatiable appetite for virtuoso black performance and routine black suffering.” I also really loved this phrase for an unlovable experience: being “thirty cents away from a quarter.” ( )
  rivkat | Dec 11, 2015 |
A unique writer with an underrepresented perspective. This collections of essays is intriguing and eye-opening. ( )
  JenLamoureux | Jan 5, 2014 |
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"A collection of essays on family, race, violence, celebrity, music, writing, and other topics"--

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