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November 9, 2021


#NonFicNov 2021 Hanif Abdurraqib (essays)

by N@ncy
  • Author: Hanif Abdurraqib
  • Title: A Little Devil In America
  • Published: 2021
  • Genre: essays (history & criticism)
  • Monthly plan
  • #NonFicNov 2021
  • #ReadDiversely
  • Trivia: Finalist for Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence non-fiction
  • winner announcement 23 January 2022 5pm EST
  • Trivia: Finalist for National Book Award 2021 non-fiction
  • winner announcement 17 November 2021




  1. There are only a few books that left me literally speechless
  2. They are often about exposing injustice Blood in the Water
  3. …poetry books for example by Jericho Brown, Les Murray, Clive James
  4. (Australia), Cilla McQueen (New Zealand)
  5. ….now I can add these essays by Hanif Abdurraqib to my special list.
  6. His criticism and essays are infused with social commentary,
  7. memoir, pop culture, and always with poetry.
  8. Even the structure of his books sometimes takes a poetic slant.
  9. Like the chapter in this book called “Fear: A Crown,”
  10. where the last line of each stanza echoes the first line of the next.


  1. It is an a lyrical celebration of Black artists, from
  2. Merry Clayton, Aretha Franklin, M. Jackson to Dave Chappelle, and a
  3. critique of the ways Black expression gets exploited.
  4. Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting essays.
  5. These subjects range from
  6. the often-tragic lives of legendary Black artists
  7. …to close examinator of a singular performance.


Best quote:

  1. “I’m afraid not of death, but of the unknown that comes after.
  2. I’m afraid not of leaving….but of being forgotten.”
  3. #MustRead…it will leave you speechless.

Read more from essays, non-fiction
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 9 2021

    Oh, this looks brilliant and definitely one to watch out for here.


    • Nov 9 2021

      Abdurraqib…rarely smiles in photos but he has so much to say…straight from the heart!
      I was totally blown away by his words. Don’t miss this one!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just picked this up from the library and I can’t wait to read it. Abdurraqub’s earlier book, Go Ahead in the Rain, was so beautiful, I shared your feeling of being left speechless by one of his books.


    • Nov 25 2021

      I’m reading Abdurraqib’s poetry collection The Crown Ain’t Worth Much…one poem a night…and my goodness, this man has a way with words!



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