“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”
TA-NEHISI COATES, BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME
In conversation with Damon Young, author of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker
An essential voice of our times, National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates brings us his debut novel, The Water Dancer, “a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance.”
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.
Coates is a distinguished writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. Coates is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He has also written for Marvel comics in the Black Panther and Captain America series.
More about Ta-Nehisi Coates
1A, October 2019
Ta-Nehisi Coates On His Debut Novel
Articles by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Broadway World, July 2019
Apollo Theater Names Ta-Nehisi Coates Inaugural Artist-in-Residence
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Website
“Nearly every paragraph is laced through with dense, gorgeously evocative descriptions of a vanished world and steeped in its own vivid vocabulary.”