From James Baldwin and Maya Angelou to Toni Morrison and Ta-Nehisi Coates, this collection includes a host of America's most celebrated black authors speaking candidly about how race and racism inform their writing.
Legendary writer James Baldwin is the author of modern classics such as "Notes of a Native Son," "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone," and "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Here, Baldwin delivers a lecture and has a "rap" session with students at an event at Lehigh University.
In the author's latest novel, The Devil in Silver, a man is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital where a buffalo-headed monster stalks patients at night. LaValle tells Fresh Air why he picked monsters, about his family history of mental illness and how he had his own brush with psychological problems.
Writer Maya Angelou's newest installment in her series of autobiographical books, called All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, has just been published. She returns to Fresh Air to talk about the influence her childhood had on her life and career.
Poet Maya Angelou has written a new memoir which details her relationship with her son while she worked as a singer and civil rights activist. She discusses the impact of prominent African American leaders like Billie Holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X had on her personally and intellectually.
It's hard to focus right now. So recommending a book can seem, well, out-of-touch. Unless, that is, the recommendation is for a novel that's so absorbing, so fully realized that it draws you out of your own constricted situation and expands your sense of possibilities. For me, over the past 10 days or so, the novel that's performed that act of deliverance has been The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel.