Fritz Agency
Published by
Tin House Books (September 2019)
Current material
Final PDF


by Abdurraqib, Hanif

In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain't Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It's a book about a mother's death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about forgiveness, and how none of the author's black friends wanted to listen to "Don't Stop Believin'." It's about wrestling with histories, personal and shared. Abdurraqib uses touchstones from the world outside?from Marvin Gaye to Nikola Tesla to his neighbor's dogs?to create a mirror, inside of which every angle presents a new possibility.

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist. and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was named a best book of 2017 by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, and Pitchfork, among others. His most recent book, a New York Times bestseller, is Go Ahead in the Rain, a biography of A Tribe Called Quest.

Available rights (1)

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Fritz Agency
Christian Dittus

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LitHub's “Most Anticipated Books of 2019 – Part 2"

Noteworthy: LitHub

“This resonant second collection from cultural critic, essayist, and poet Abdurraqib grapples with physical and emotional acts of violence and their political context. . . . 13 poems titled “How Can Black People Write About Flowers at a Time Like This” display Abdurraqib's technical dexterity. . . . Abdurraqib's background in music criticism informs an imaginative series engaged with Marvin Gaye. . . while elsewhere, poems provide visceral eyewitness sense of everyday life with precise insights. . . . Such wry commentary reveals its own hard-won, defiant resilience.” (starred review, with interview)

Review: Publishers Weekly

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