Kiese Laymon may be the best writer and curator in a generation
August 5, 2013 3:57 PM Subscribe
is writing some of the most innovative pieces about race and life in America right now.
Previously discussed here
when his essay How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance
was published on Gawker and took the world by storm. He has two books out this summer, his debut novel Long Division
and an essay collection also entitled How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
, which includes a correspondence between Laymon and four other authors, including Mychal Denzel Smith
of The Nation. Long Division has received some very positive press
although the establishment literary outlets have not (yet) weighed in, unsurprisingly.
He frequently publishes early versions of essays on his blog, Cold Drank
, where he also curates a diverse array of work by others (as he does on Gawker.com
). Laymon isn't afraid to let his work evolve in public, and writes a lot about the writing process itself, including this piece at Guernica
on the travails of publishing in an industry unable to understand writing by and for black Southern authors.
Since his first essay on Gawker, he has finally started to be noticed, although he's been putting out powerful stuff on his blog for years. As he says in the Guernica essay, "I’ll get my work out to my folks and if they want more, I’ll show them. If not, that’s fine. I’m a writer. I write.”