Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon authored the memoir Heavy, a gripping, moving and valiant book that has been honored with the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, Barnes and Noble Discover Award and Audible’s Book of the Year. It was also named one of 2018’s best books by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, among many others.

Kiese will be honored at the 2020 National Book Club Conference with the Terrie M. Williams Inspiration Award, which previously has gone to Iyanla Vanzant, Susan L. Taylor, E. Lynn Harris, Hill Harper, Judy Smith, Ntozke Shange and many others.

One of the sharpest young minds and writers in America, he was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi to a mother who taught Political Science. His complex relationship with his mother is a significant part of his gem of a book. He also addresses other issues of his life, including obesity, sexual violence, food, physical punishment from his mother, anorexia and so much more.

Mr. Laymon is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University.

He also wrote the award-winning novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, The Guardian, McSweeneys, Colorlines, The Best American Series, Ebony, and many others. He is a contributing editor of Oxford American.

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