diversity | July 27, 2015

Heart of the Conversation: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me Is a #1 NYT Bestseller

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s revelatory memoir on institutional racism, Between the World and Me has debuted on The New York Times Bestsellers List at #1. “It is the book everyone is talking about right now,” says The New Yorker’s David Remnick, “and for good reason.” With its fingers on the pulse of a country in turmoil, “Coates’s meditation on being a black man in America … has had an almost frictionless glide straight to the heart of the national conversation” (The New York Times).

Framed as a moving letter to his teenage son, Between the World and Me recounts Coates’s journey of awakening in a country founded upon systemic racism—and one still suffering from fantasies of sweeping social progress (as Coates insists on The Daily Show: “The plunder of black bodies is not a bump along the road; it is the road itself”). Turning toward the human sites of exploitation, Coates focuses on the personal experience of inhabiting a black body today (and throughout US history), and how this entails a lifelong struggle against violence, incarceration, and oppression. Combining razor-sharp journalistic reportage, a time-hopping tour of painful American lineage, and recent acts of white-on-black police brutality that have shocked and galvanized a nation, it’s a book touted as both a “love letter” and a definitive response to a “moral emergency” (Slate). Indeed, its coveted #1 spot on the NYT Bestsellers List indicates that it’s a polemic—and testament—with uncanny relevance for today’s most paramount discussions.

While earning praise from almost every major reviewer—including a torch-passing comparison to the late James Baldwin by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison—Between the World and Me has also catapulted Ta-Nehisi Coates into the public spotlight. After a New York Magazine cover story, interviews on Charlie Rose and NPR, an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and a flurry of other high-profile media spots, Coates continues to bring his frank and transforming perspective on black bodies to the mainstream. No stranger to timely and compelling discussions (see his recent articles, “The Case for Reparations” and “Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now” for The Atlantic), Coates’s singular vision is now poised to make him a household name.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is also the author of The Beautiful Struggle and a senior editor and writer for The Atlantic. In his talks, he delves into the conflicted and hopeful state of black America today. To book Ta-Nehisi Coates as the keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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science | July 20, 2015