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Joy Keys chats with Author Kiese Laymon

  • Broadcast in Books
Joy Keys

Joy Keys


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How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (August 2013) is a stirring, powerful collection of essays that explore the effects of racism, violence, and class, among other things, on American culture and society. Kiese Laymon’s writing is deeply personal yet unsentimental. He tells personal family stories that reveal the myriad influences that have shaped his life, from his formidable grandmother and rascally uncle to the hip-hop stars of the 1980s and 1990s who became role models for an entire generation of young black men across the country.

Kiese Laymon was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He graduated from Oberlin College and earned an MFA from Indiana University. Laymon is a contributing editor at Gawker.com and has written for numerous publications, including Esquire and ESPN.com. He is an associate professor of English and Africana Studies at Vassar College. Agate Bolden published his debut novel, Long Division, came out in June 2013.