How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America[Read] ➳ How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America ➻ Kiese Laymon – A revised collection with thirteen essays including six new to this edition and seven from the original edition by the “star in the American literary firmament with a voice that is courageous honest A revised collection with thirteen essays Slowly Kill ePUB ↠ including six new to this edition and seven from the original edition by the “star in the American literary firmament with a voice that is courageous honest loving and singularly beautiful” NPRBrilliant and uncompromising piercing and funny How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America is essential reading This new edition of award winning author Kiese Laymon’s first work of nonfiction looks inward drawing heavily on the author and his family’s How to eBook Í experiences while simultaneously examining the world—Mississippi the South the United States—that has shaped their lives With subjects that range from an interview with his mother to reflections on Ole Miss football Outkast and the labor of Black women these thirteen insightful essays highlight Laymon’s profound love of language and his artful rendering of experience trumpeting why he is “simply one of the most talented writers in America” New York magazine.

Kiese Laymon is a black southern Slowly Kill ePUB ↠ writer born and raised in Jackson Mississippi Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College He earned an MFA from Indiana University and is the author of the forthcoming novel Long Division in June and a collection of essays How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America in August Laymon is.

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America Kindle
  • Paperback
  • 176 pages
  • How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
  • Kiese Laymon
  • 08 July 2015
  • 9781982170820

10 thoughts on “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

  1. Joshunda Sanders says:

    I'm not sure that America has another writer like Kiese so I hope that folks will pay attention I will admit to bias since I've been writing about and reading his work closely now for several months I love how much hip hop is central to this narrative not just through a lens of nostalgia but also through a black male feminist or womanist lens which I feel like I've waited all my life to read from a black man in the 21st Century As a student of Kiese's work I remembered reading the title essay and a couple of the others but it helped to be reminded There isn't another black writer who is both interrogating and cataloging black popular culture and racial politics in America that I can think of in a way that isn't condescending or gatekeeping so I'm thankful to Kiese for being that real black Southern writer for us I hope that he becomes the standard bearer for how to write well about black culture and history in the past and the near present It is not safe work but thoughtfully and humorously imaginative Also where else can you find Tupac and Bernie Mac and dream hampton alongside mentions of Margaret Alexander Walker and Octavia Butler? More than that as a journalist all I ever hear people do is talk about what young black men are thinking and why young black men are dying But Kiese is a witness and he is one of them which makes his testimony all the valuable One thing It does my womanist heart good to read a black man lift up the black women and men in his life and giving them room to be present alongside his creation It is a beautiful thing subtle and significant Also worth mentioning is vulnerability Being vulnerable and honest on the page is something that a lot of people like to talk about but it is offensively heartbreaking to do and hard on the soul not to mention the body There are few contemporary writers who do this well with grace and generosity without pandering in one place or another or pulling a Hey Look at me being vulnerable over here Aren't I your favorite black male feminist? Not naming names So anyway I'm biased because I am clearly a Kiese fan But these are all the reasons why I think you will be too

  2. Lauren says:

    Laymon's writing is so potent so clear the reader has to simply listen and bear witness This collection of personal essays range from his childhood in Mississippi to the trials around getting his first novel Long Division published Laymon effectively uses personal stories to illustrate larger societal realities In the title essay How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America he traces the disciplinary action at his college for not checking out a library book yet subseuently returning it the epic arguments with his mother about his role and his parole as a young black man and the steps that lead him to Oberlin I want to say that remembering starts not with predictable punditry or bullshit blogs or slick art that really asks nothing of us; I want to say that it starts with us willing ourselves to remember tell and accept those complicated muffled truths of our lives and deaths and the lives and the deaths of folks around us over and over againLaymon's deaths of both self and others are destructive tendencies and society killing but there is rebirth here too reinvention learning recreatingI really appreciated his use of dialogue and letters in Echo Mychal Darnell Kiese Kai and Marlon his storytelling in Our Kind of Ridiculous and You Are the Second Person and his cultural analysis in Eulogy for Three Black Boys Who Lived

  3. Nakia says:

    These essays made me laugh cry grimace think feel and learn Our country communities families are often dissected through writing but very rarely do we have young open minded Black male voices raised by southern grandmothers struggling mothers and hip hop give it to us this real I picked this one up from the library but I'll be purchasing it to add it to my own shelves permanently

  4. Shannon says:

    In this book of essays which are a reflection on Laymon’s life nothing is off limits There are some essays that a broad audience can relate to but since his writing is so personal there are many things that are not expressly stated Several essays reuire some cultural awareness before you can digest them Without it statements likeWe felt pride in knowing that the greatest producer alive was an uncle from Compton and the most anticipated emcee in the history of hip hop was a lanky brother from Long Beach” will leave you scratching your headThe essays deal heavily with race in America and after reading them those that think we don't have far to go may uestion that notion Then there are some that may think this author is beating a dead horse This is the type of book that starts those discussions The writing is funny and it’s melancholy It’s always forthright to the point that it can you uncomfortable like you know something that you shouldn’t Laymon makes assertions that challenge the status uo Some I agree with others not so much And then there are times I asked myself why would he write such a thingThere is a particular audience that would love this author and I wonder if they know about him I thought the same when I read Laymon’s first bookLong Division Thirty somethings will get his writing Thirty somethings from the South will feel it

  5. David Leonard says:

    Kiese Laymon is a gem His prose his humor and the brilliance in analysis are all reasons for his place at the top of the writing game This book is amazing from start to finish The title which captures so much about life and death race and racism agency and unfreedom and the perpetuate state of livingdying is powerful In just a few words Kiese defines the importance of race gender and class as it relates to life and death It also encapsulates the level of vulnerability he shows within this collection of essays He doesn't shy away from looking inward using those experiences the pain and lessons learned to inspire and inform his readers to look inward While the analysis is brilliant and why he clearly offers many insights into contemporary issues the book feels as if he is writing to his readers albeit without judgment There is so much to think about within this book but than anything else it tells readers about Kiese about his observations and experiences his insights and critical understanding of the world around him; it tells readers about his happiness and sadness his pain and happiness He tells us about society and ourselves about Kiese and so much A must read

  6. Kelli says:

    His memoir was so powerful I don’t believe I ever properly reviewed it though I remember his hauntingly beautiful narration uotes from it remain on my phone Heavy demands another listenNeedless to say I cannot wait for this release

  7. Tabitha says:

    Can I give this book six stars? I would like to give it six stars Imagine there's a extra star up there please This is not to say Laymon's book is the best written book I've ever read BUT and this is coming from someone that reads a lot I think it is one of the most important and meaningful books I've read in a while The book is essays on race and racial awareness privilege and awareness of that privilege It's a hard read Hard in that why that the best books are; they step on your toes and make you uncomfortable with some part of the world and your place within it Thank heavens for books like this They remind us of all the work yet to be done

  8. Zachary F. says:

    I want to say that remembering starts not with predictable punditry or bullshit blogs or slick art that really asks nothing of us; I want to say that it starts with all of us willing ourselves to remember tell and accept those complicated muffled truths of our lives and deaths and the lives and deaths of folks all around us over and over again I picked up this little book of essays because Laymon's recent memoir Heavy is being hailed as a masterpiece and I found the title of this one hard to ignoreIn his intro Laymon says he wanted to arrange the collection like an album wanted for it to be readable in a single sitting and to explore the benefits and burdens of being born a black boy in America without the predictable literary rigidity If looseness was his goal Laymon achieved it Thematically these pieces reverberate against one another but the style and content varies greatly from essay to essay sometimes page to page A fairly straightforward exploration of the uneasy import of the 2008 presidential election becomes a dreamy fictional debate between Obama and Mitt Romney with Laymon as the moderator A piece about Laymon's gregarious uncle HaLester becomes a piece about the genius of Kanye West becomes a piece about the failure of even brilliant rappers and men generally to confront their own insidious sexism There are intimate letters to and from Laymon's loved ones printed in their entirety without comment in the same way many music artists today intercut their tracks with voicemail recordings or candid conversation And as with the best albums the proliferation of moods and topics ensures that the reader is never bored or at least doesn’t have to sit with the stuff they don’t like for long Laymon is an engaging writer too drawing like any good emcee upon a wealth of stylistic techniues note the alliteration in that uote a couple paragraphs back illustrative allusions and a lifelong study of dialects and verbal tics At times he gets a little too entangled in these linguistic games sacrificing clarity for a clever simile or lyrical twist but at his best his poeticism put me in mind of Terrance Hayes or Ta Nehisi Coates to say nothing of the many hip hop legends—East West Midwest and Dirty South—whose abiding influence he continually remarks upon His striking descriptions of familiar scenes make the scenes themselves striking too urging his readers to attend to people and things they may otherwise pay no mind When Les is lying about being a forty ninth degree Mason his voice sounds like flat tires rolling over jagged gravel When he's lying about what he did to the dog cat or car of the white man who 'ain't know how to pay a n—— right' his voice sounds like burning bubble wrap No matter what Les is lying about all of his lies have an acidic slow drip to them and nearly all the lies carry stories rooted in what 'the black man' deserves But artistic looseness can be a tricky thing especially in a medium as narrative driven as the written word As much as I respect the structural leniency Laymon affords himself as well as his reasons for affording it I did wish sometimes that he would go a little further dig a little deeper give some detail before hopping on over to the next thing on his mind These essays are argumentative as most essays are but often the conclusions are too abstract and too uickly dispatched to resonate like I wished they would Laymon shines when he turns his pen to the lives and legacies of others musicians and comedians and family patriarchs but even in the most personal pieces there's a haze of reticence over his reflections of himself He confesses than once to his having intimately fucked up the lives of women who loved him but he gives us no than this worrying hint to work with There's a longish piece about the process of publishing his first novel Long Division but it has much to say about Laymon's irritating editor than about the author himself or his art Some fragments were clearly worked into others over time and at least one paragraph appears almost verbatim in two different spotsBut I'd rather give my attention to a risky writer who sometimes falls flat than a safe one who doesn't risk it at all I'm glad I read this even if it was over the course of two days rather than one sitting and I plan to read Heavy soon I can only imagine Laymon's considerable abilities have ripened in the interceding five years and I'm itching to see what kind of work he does when determined to turn these talents upon himself

  9. Liz Matheny says:

    You will be a better person and a better American once you have read this bookI picked this up a few months ago at Busboys Poets in DC I always enjoy their selection because they cater to a racially and culturally diverse group of readers unlike any of the other bigger albeit independent bookstores in townLaymon's writing is crisp and smart The only reason why this collection of essays 11 in total took me so much time was because there was just so much to chew on and think about From his experience being racially profiled leaving a Lilith Fair concert in Hershey PA to his love of hip hop transferring into his love of words and writing to growing up black in Mississippi Laymon's voice is strong and distinct He is able to provide a detailed an authentic look at what it means to be a black man in America in the 90s and 2000s something that people should read about or at least listen to This book is a perfect counterpart to Coates' Between the World and Me because it's detailed and less philosophical There are many essays in here I will use with my students Many essays are constructed through letter form a call and response between family members and friends which I find most intriguing as a rhetorical choice There is certainly some cursing but I think it's purposeful

  10. Fryeday says:

    I really enjoyed how raw this book felt His writing style seemed unconventional in lots of ways but in a seasoned I write a lot so I can make my own rules kind of way which I LOVEDIt definitely made me think a lot about the words we could say to those we love that we don't and how we could possibly make a difference with people just by telling them what we want from them for them how they could change our lives It hit home because I know at times I myself have wanted to be better for other people even when I didn't want to be better for myself and isn't that a place one could start? That's a lot of what this book says to meI had started Long Divison a while ago and never finished I found it funny that in this book he tells his editor he could publish essays that would make people want to read his novel because that's exactly how I feel and what I plan to do very soon if not nextI also found myself wanting him to write on his romantic relationships I think that could be interesting given his honesty and style Great read

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