Kiese grew up in Oxford, Mississippi —the only child of a single mother, a black boy who struggled with weight. His childhood and adolescence were marked by two daily assaults: that of American racism, and America’s obsession with weight. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Kiese Laymon is the author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and Heavy: An American Memoir.
“It's ironic to me that my mom was the woman who taught me how to read—she was the black woman who taught me how to read and write—and everything I wrote outside of my house I was taught not to write to my mama. I just think that’s where we are as black writers and black creators in this country. Literally because most of our teachers are white. Principals are white. The standards are white. But I wanted to flip this on its head and I wanted to write this book to the person who taught me how to read and write. And, yeah, we got some dysfunctional, fucked-up shit going on. But we also have some abundant love shit going on, too.”
Thanks to MailChimp, The Last Column, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.
The Mastermind (Evan Ratliff • Random House • 2019)
Laymon on Longform
[1:30] Heavy: An American Memoir (Scribner • 2018)
[1:40] How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (Agate Bolden • 2013)
[01:45] "The Worst of White Folks" (Gawker • Jul 2013)
[01:50] "How They Do in Ole Miss" (ESPN • Oct 2015)
[03:20] The lamppost
[08:40] "Da Art of Storytellin’ (A Prequel)" (Oxford American • Nov 2015)
[33:45] "You Are the Second Person" (Guernica • Jun 2013)
[35:05] Where the Line Bleeds (Jesmyn Ward • Agate Bolden • 2008)
[35:15] Long Division (Agate Bolden • 2013)
[36:00] "D'Andre Brown's Basketball Dream" (ESPN • Aug 2013)
[39:40] "My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK" (Gawker • Nov 2014)
[55:35] "Michelle Obama Should Go High—And Kick" (Vanity Fair • Nov 2018)
Kiese Laymon is an American writer, editor and a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. Laymon is the author of three full-length books: a novel, Long Division, and two memoirs, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and Heavy.