A surprise New York Times bestseller, these groundbreaking essays and poems about race—collected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and written by the most important voices of her generation—are “thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful. The Fire This Time is vivid proof that words are important, because of their power to both cleanse and to clarify” (USA TODAY).
In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. “An absolutely indispensable anthology” (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Time shines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future.
Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We’ve made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a “post-racial society”—a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time “seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward” (Vogue).
Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, and the Strauss Living Prize. She is the winner of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones (2011). She is also the author of the novel Where the Line Bleeds and the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University and lives in Mississippi.
Table of Contents
"The Tradition" Jericho Brown 1
Introduction Jesmyn Ward 3
Part I Legacy
Homegoing, AD Kima Jones 15
The Weight Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah 19
Lonely in America Wendy S. Walters 33
Where Do We Go from Here? Isabel Wilkerson 59
"The Dear Pledges of Our Love": A Defense of Phillis Wheatley's Husband Honorée Fanonne Jeffers 63
White Rage Carol Anderson 83
Cracking the Code Jesmyn Ward 89
Part II Reckoning
Queries of Unrest Clint Smith 99
Blacker Than Thou Kevin Young 101
Da Art of Storytellin' (a Prequel) Kiese Laymon 117
Black and Blue Garnette Cadogan 129
The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning Claudia Rankine 145
Know Your Rights! Emily Raboteau 157
Composite Pops Mitchell S. Jackson 179
Part III Jubilee
Theories of Time and Space Natasha Trethewey 195
This Far: Notes on Love and Revolution Daniel José Older 197
An original and groundbreaking book that examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the
soldiers of Homer’s Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.In this moving, dazzlingly creative book, Dr. Shay examines the psychological devastation of war ...
For millions of readers worldwide, Alan Paton's books have vividly described life in contemporary South
Africa. Ah, But Your Land Is Beautiful revolves around the everyday experiences of a group of men and women whose lives reflect the human costs ...
From award-winning literary author Thomas King (aka Hartley GoodWeather) comes a stylish mystery debut featuring
ex-California cop Thumps DreadfulWater, a smart and savvy Cherokee Indian whose witty exterior belies a clever, stubborn sleuth.With his cop life officially behind him, Thumps ...
From Howard Hughes to Mark Zuckerberg, the public has always been fascinated by genius entrepreneurs
who succumb to their eccentricities. Now, James Scurlock engages, educates, and entertains readers with the captivating story of DHL cofounder and billionaire Larry Hillblom.King Larry ...
“A remarkable debut novel written by a promising young writer who captures vivid details and
writes masterfully” (Christian Science Monitor) about an American attorney, an Egyptian translator, and an Iraqi-American resettlement officer trying to protect a refugee who finds herself ...
The classic freewheeling look at race relations through the ages.Mumbo Jumbo is Ishmael Reed’s brilliantly
satiric deconstruction of Western civilization, a racy and uproarious commentary on our society. In it, Reed, one of our preeminent African-American authors, mixes portraits of ...
A fascinating and personal look at Dungeons & Dragons that “tracks D&D’s turbulent rice, fall,
and survival, from its heyday in the 1980s…to the twenty-first century” (The Wall Street Journal).Even if you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know ...
New York Times bestselling author John le Carré's novels deftly navigate us through the intricate
shadow worlds of international intrigue with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim. A lawyer from a London finance house is ...