A Little Devil In America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

A Little Devil In America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

$27.00

Hanif Abdurraqib, 2021

Hardcover, published by Random House

Only 6 left in stock

SKU: 978-1-984801-19-7 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Description

“I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too.” Inspired by these few words, spoken by Josephine Baker at the 1963 March on Washington, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and bestselling author Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines—whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds in “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton wails the words “rape, murder,” a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt—has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance.

Touching on Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Billy Dee Williams, the Wu-Tan Clan, Dave Chappelle, and more, Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space—from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.

Praise for Hanif Abdurraqib

Gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance.

— Brit Bennett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

— The New York Times Book Review, Time, The Boston Globe, NPR, Rolling Stone, Esquire, BuzzFeed, Thrillist, She Reads, BookRiot, BookPage, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, LitHub, Library Journal, Booklist

About Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, writer, and dessert enthusiast from Columbus, Ohio. He is the editor of Again I Wait For This To Pull Apart, an anthology forthcoming from Freezeray Press. His work has been published in Radius, Stirring, Muzzle, Vinyl,… MORE

Additional information

Weight15.2 oz
Dimensions8.5 × 5.7 × 1.1 in
Publication Date

March 30, 2021

Format

Page Count

320

Author Hometown

Columbus, Ohio

ISBN

978-1984801197

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