It doesn't matter if Hanif Abdurraqib is writing about Allen Iverson or Fall Out Boy or what it's like to grow up as a Muslim boy in a post-industrial Midwest town. Each of these essays is equal parts poem, polemic, and prayer, and it's hard for me not to describe the total experience of reading this book as anything less than sacred. This book blew me away, and Abdurraqib is very much a writer to watch. Recommended By Tim B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.
In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers: for attempting to enter his own car.
In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others — along with original, previously unreleased essays — Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.
"Abdurraqib bridges the bravado and bling of praise with the blood and tears of elegy." Terrance Hayes
"It takes someone special to hear the life a song takes on beyond intent, the way that it reacts with people...Abdurraqib has that gift." Dan Campbell, Lead Singer of The Wonder Years and Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties
"Hanif Abdurraqib's music writing possesses a singular, impossible magic — he cracks open the very personal nature of fandom with empathy and skepticism in equal measure." Jessica Hopper
About the Author
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism has been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New York Times, and MTV News, where he is a columnist. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was published in 2016 by Button Poetry.
Keith Mosman on PowellsBooks.Blog
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