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Few writers are able to expose the enduring failures of American society through the lens of a personal narrative with unflinching candor and raw vulnerability. Genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon has accomplished this impressive feat with his highly-anticipated forthcoming book Heavy: An American Memoir a searing memoir that explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse. With a commitment to facing hard truths, Heavy charts Laymon’s early experiences of sexual violence and toxic masculinity growing up in Jackson, Mississippi; his complex and often painful relationship to his brilliant mother; first-hand experiences with racism in academia; and the physical manifestations of trauma, including obesity, anorexia, and gambling addiction, on his own body. The portrait that emerges in Heavy is deeply intimate yet entirely inclusive of our shared memories of an abusive nation. Morgan Jerkins will interview Laymon, followed by an audience Q&A, and book signing.

Morgan Jerkins is the author of the New York Times bestseller, This Will Be My Undoing. Her short form work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, ELLE, and The Cut, among many others. She's based in Harlem.

Co-presented with Greenlight Bookstore.

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