"Rich in identity," as he described himself, Randall Kenan wrote widely and profoundly about what it meant to be Black, gay, and Southern. He confessed himself "elusive"--yet revealed himself in astonishing prose--memories of his three mothers (especially Mama, his great-aunt); recollections of his boyhood fear of snakes and his rapture in books; his sensual evocations of tobacco picking and hogkilling, butterbeans and scuppernongs, of the eastern North Carolina lowlands where he grew up. Here too is his intellectual coming-of-age: his passion for science fiction; his informed and ecstatic appreciations of James Baldwin, Ingmar Bergman, Gordon Parks, and Eartha Kitt; his grappling with the politics and meaning of race (a fiction) and home (an inescapable, visceral reality).
This powerful collection is a testament to a polymathic mind, a wise soul, and a sublimely gifted writer from whom readers will always wish to have more to read.
Randall Kenan (1963-2020) last work of fiction, If I Had Two Wings, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Aspen Prize, and the National Book Award for Fiction (longlist). He was a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (August 9, 2022)
- Language: English
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- ISBN-10: 0393882160
- ISBN-13: 9780393882162
- Item Weight: 1.74 pounds