‘Abdurraqib’s genius is in pinpointing those moments in American cultural history when Black people made lightning strike. This is searing, revelatory, filled with utter heartbreak, and unstoppable joy.’ Marlon James
In A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance, writer, music critic and poet Hanif Abdurraqib weaves a unique and intimate history of Black performance. From Beyoncé to Whitney Houston, backing singers to TV hopefuls, through sport, sit-coms, film, fashion and space travel, his kaleidoscopic canvas is full of sharp insight, humour and heart.
His 2019 book, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest, a genre-bending group biography, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. In his first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, he wrote, “Once you realize that it’s all performance the medicine goes down easier.” Described by the Chicago Tribune as “The most important cultural critic in America right now”, we’re delighted to welcome Hanif Abdurraqib to ILFDublin.
Hanif will discuss his musical and cultural influences with writer, poet and vocalist Jess Kav.
This event is part of our Forms & Influences series.
From the holy voice of Aretha Franklin to the precision of Beckett’s prose, the influences on a writers’ vision come in many guises. Forms & Influences explores the artistic minds and motivations of Rachel Kushner, Lydia Davis, André Aciman, Hanif Abdurraqib, Vivian Gornick and Salman Rushdie, celebrates the essay and traces the arc of a writer’s life, from formative years to mature reflection, through real life and artistic epiphany.
With each book a cultural playlist between hardcovers, join us and set forth on along new pathways of discovery.
IMAGE: Marcus Jackson