3 Answers with Randall Kenan
PW has Three Answers with Randall Kenan, the author of the forthcoming THE FIRE THIS TIME.
PW: What would you like readers to take away from this book?
RK: I think the basic challenge and call I make is for more discussion. You might think, or it might appear on the surface, that we’re talking about racial issues a lot, but in truth we aren’t. There’s a lot of yelling and screaming, but not genuine dialogue; people need to get to know each other. I think that will lead to more substantive changes, and more substantive observations, and more serious questions being asked by people who right now aren’t really paying attention
Here's info on the book from the publisher, Melville House. The book drops in August.
James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time was one of the essential books of the sixties and one of the most galvanizing books of the American civil rights movement.
Now, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with a new generation of Americans confronting what Baldwin called our "racial nightmare," best-selling author Randall Kenan asks: How far have we come?
Kenan notes that despite dramatic advances, new issues have combined with old to bedevil us. The religion so key in the sixties-both Christian and Muslim-has become more dominant and intolerant. The government and courts have shifted to the right. Hip-hop has replaced the stirring music so vital to the sixties movement. Meanwhile, African Americans remain impoverished in record numbers.
Like Baldwin, Kenan is acclaimed for both his fiction and nonfiction, which includes a biography of Baldwin and numerous essays on the issues that concerned him-such as class, religion, being a gay African American, and the failing perception that America has conquered racism.
The shocking revelations of New Orleans confirmed a shameful truth. Randall Kenan is the perfect writer to declare that truth, and seek its transcendence, in this impassioned book.