The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race

Category: Book
By (author): Ward, Jesmyn
Subject:  HISTORY / African American
  NON-FICTION / General
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Publisher: Scribner
Published: August 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 8.37in x 5.50in
Our Price:
$ 34.00
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*National Book Award–winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.

In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin's 1962 "Letter to My Nephew," which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: "You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon."

Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin's words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation's most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns.

The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume.

In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a "post-racial" society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about.

Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young.
Review Quote*Praise for Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped:
Review Quote*"With loving and vivid recollection, [Ward] returns flesh to the bones of statistics and allows her ghosts to live again . . . [It's a] complicated and courageous testimony." -The New York Times Book Review
Review Quote*"No American memoir feels more essential . . . Elegiac, rage-filled, and uncommonly brave." -Vogue
Review Quote*"Lavishly endowed with literary craft and hard-earned wisdom." -Time
Review Quote*"Ward is a vivid, urgent writer, and here she is bearing witness to poverty and racism, the inequality that plagues her community and so many others like it . . . Her story shines a light on this darkness, reminding us we will never be able to lift it if we do not at least look. "
Review Quote*"Powerful . . . Nuanced and loving . . . A must-read." -The Dallas Morning News
Review Quote*"A memoir about loss in rural Mississippi that burns with brilliance." -Harper's Bazaar
Review Quote*"A brilliant book about beauty and death . . . at once a coming-of-age story and a kind of mourning song . . . filled [with] intimate and familial moments, each described with the passion and precision of the polished novelist Ward has become." -The Los Angeles Times
Review Quote*"Ms. Ward's stories of black men in tragic circumstances seem both ancient and contemporary." -The New York Times