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About Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, a finalist for the National Book Award. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow, Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story “The Case for Reparations.” He lives in New York with his wife and son.
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Titles By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” (Rolling Stone)
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
“This potent book about America’s most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist.”—San Francisco Chronicle
IN DEVELOPMENT AS A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Adapted by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Kamilah Forbes, directed by Nia DaCosta, and produced by MGM, Plan B, and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films
NOMINATED FOR THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD • NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • Vanity Fair • Esquire • Good Housekeeping • Paste • Town & Country • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal
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.
This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.
Praise for The Water Dancer
“Ta-Nehisi Coates is the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race with his 2015 memoir, Between the World and Me. So naturally his debut novel comes with slightly unrealistic expectations—and then proceeds to exceed them. The Water Dancer . . . is a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance. . . . What’s most powerful is the way Coates enlists his notions of the fantastic, as well as his fluid prose, to probe a wound that never seems to heal. . . . Timeless and instantly canon-worthy.”—Rolling Stone
New York Times Bestseller • Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • USA Today • Time • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Essence • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Week • Kirkus Reviews
*Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”
But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.
We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.
Paul Coates was an enigmatic god to his sons: a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian and new-age believer in free love, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. Most of all, he was a wily tactician whose mission was to carry his sons across the shoals of inner-city adolescence—and through the collapsing civilization of Baltimore in the Age of Crack—and into the safe arms of Howard University, where he worked so his children could attend for free.
Among his brood of seven, his main challenges were Ta-Nehisi, spacey and sensitive and almost comically miscalibrated for his environment, and Big Bill, charismatic and all-too-ready for the challenges of the streets. The Beautiful Struggle follows their divergent paths through this turbulent period, and their father’s steadfast efforts—assisted by mothers, teachers, and a body of myths, histories, and rituals conjured from the past to meet the needs of a troubled present—to keep them whole in a world that seemed bent on their destruction.
With a remarkable ability to reimagine both the lost world of his father’s generation and the terrors and wonders of his own youth, Coates offers readers a small and beautiful epic about boys trying to become men in black America and beyond.
Praise for The Beautiful Struggle
“I grew up in a Maryland that lay years, miles and worlds away from the one whose summers and sorrows Ta-Nehisi Coates evokes in this memoir with such tenderness and science; and the greatest proof of the power of this work is the way that, reading it, I felt that time, distance and barriers of race and class meant nothing. That in telling his story he was telling my own story, for me.”—Michael Chabon, bestselling author of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
“Ta-Nehisi Coates is the young James Joyce of the hip hop generation.”—Walter Mosley
Acclaimed author Ta-Nehisi Coates concludes his examination of the Sentinel of Liberty's place in modern-day America! Framed for a crime he did not commit and pursued by a dogged Nick Fury, Steve Rogers takes on the Power Elite and their insidious minions - with help from the Daughters of Liberty! Disgraced and hunted, he has been forced underground - but he's not down and out yet. And the hour is drawing nigh when Steve will once again pick up the shield and don the stars and stripes! But which of Cap's closest allies will do the same with the armor of the Iron Patriot? And who will be the new Agent 13? Just as Captain America returns, so too does his greatest enemy - and now, Steve Rogers must marshal his forces to face the reborn Red Skull!
Captain America must find a way to prove his innocence. Framed for a crime he did not commit and pursued by a dogged Nick Fury, Steve Rogers takes the fight back to the Power Elite and their insidious minions — with help from the Daughters of Liberty! First, it's a trip to the border with White Tiger to uncover secrets behind the group known as THEM! Then, Cap and Mockingbird journey to Iowa, where THEM holds an entire town in thrall! And Cap and Jessica Drew must tackle a familiar foe who is contaminating the water supply of a rust belt city! But when the killing of a cop sets off a powder keg in the New York streets, can Cap help Misty Knight contain it — while remaining one step ahead of the conspiracy against him?
Ta-Nehisi Coates continues his blockbuster examination of the Living Legend! Steve Rogers has given up being Captain America. Framed, disgraced and hunted, he has been forced underground — but he’s not down and out yet. If Cap embodies any one thing, it is perseverance in the face of evil. He’s been fighting his way back to the light one step at a time. And the hour is drawing nigh when Steve will once again pick up the shield and don the stars and stripes! But which of his closest allies will do the same with the armor of the Iron Patriot? And who will be the new Agent 13? Just as the Sentinel of Liberty returns, so too does his greatest enemy — and now, Steve Rogers must marshal his forces to face the reborn Red Skull!
Captain America — wanted for murder! Accused and in custody, Steve Rogers has become a captain of nothing. With no costume, with no shield, and trapped behind bars with a thousand villains and killers who'd like nothing more than to see him dead, Steve fights back — and he can do it all day! But as the Power Elite makes its play, who stands with Cap? A prison riot is the best possible cover to break Steve out of confinement, but what if he doesn't want to go? Steve Rogers might end up a fugitive, but that doesn't mean he'll give up the fight to prove his innocence and bring the true murderer to justice. Not by a long shot! It's time for Cap to try a new tactic!
Acclaimed BLACK PANTHER scribe Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on the Sentinel of Liberty! For more than 70 years, Captain America has stood in stalwart defense of his country and its people. But in the aftermath of Hydra’s brief takeover of the nation, Cap is a figure of controversy carrying a tarnished shield — and a new enemy is rising! Distrusted by his own country and facing threats including the Taskmaster and an army of Nuke super-soldiers, Steve Rogers is a man out of time — and out of options! As things get worse, Cap finds himself wanted for murder — and the victim is a major figure in the Marvel Universe! The walls are closing in on Steve Rogers. Will he end up as Captain of Nothing? Or does the Living Legend still have some allies in his corner?
As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it came to his sons, he was committed to raising proud Black men equipped to deal with a racist society, during a turbulent period in the collapsing city of Baltimore where they lived.
Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family, including his brother "Big Bill," who was on a very different path than Ta-Nehisi. Coates also tells of his struggles at school and with girls, making this a timely story to which many readers will relate.
Throughout his 25-year career, David Carr was noted for his sharp and fearless observations, his uncanny sense of fairness and justice, and his remarkable compassion and wit. His writing was informed both by his own hardships as an addict and his intense love of the journalist’s craft. His range—from media politics to national politics, from rock ‘n’ roll celebrities to the unknown civil servants who make our daily lives function—was broad and often timeless. Edited by his widow, Jill Rooney Carr, and with an introduction by one of the many journalists David Carr mentored, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Final Draft is a singular event in the world of writing news, an art increasingly endangered in these troubled times.