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Re-Envisioning Long Division: Kiese Laymon in conversation with Regina N. Bradley

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Charis welcomes Kiese Laymon in conversation with Regina N. Bradley for a celebration of the new edition of Long Division, Laymon's first novel, a satirical exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and Black teenagers coming of age in post-Katrina Mississippi, now available in its original form as Laymon intended it. The conversation will explore life and art as ongoing revisions. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.  

Written in a voice that’s alternately humorous, lacerating, and wise, Long Division features two interwoven stories. In the first, it’s 2013: after an on-stage meltdown during a nationally televised quiz contest, fourteen-year-old Citoyen “City” Coldson becomes an overnight YouTube celebrity. The next day, he’s sent to stay with his grandmother in the small coastal community of Melahatchie, where a young girl named Baize Shephard has recently disappeared.

Before leaving, City is given a strange book without an author called Long Division. He learns that one of the book’s main characters is also named City Coldson—but Long Division is set in 1985. This 1985-version of City, along with his friend and love interest, Shalaya Crump, discovers a way to travel into the future, and steals a laptop and cellphone from an orphaned teenage rapper called...Baize Shephard. They ultimately take these items with them all the way back to 1964, to help another time-traveler they meet to protect his family from the Ku Klux Klan.

City’s two stories ultimately converge in the work shed behind his grandmother’s house, where he discovers the key to Baize’s disappearance. Brilliantly “skewering the disingenuous masquerade of institutional racism” (Publishers Weekly), this dreamlike “smart, funny, and sharp” (Jesmyn Ward), novel shows the work that young Black Americans must do, while living under the shadow of a history “that they only gropingly understand and must try to fill in for themselves” (The Wall Street Journal).

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019, Andrew Carnegie Medal, for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Heavy was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction and the Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction. It was named a best book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly.

Regina N. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at Harvard University and an assistant professor of English and African diaspora studies at Kennesaw State University. She is the author of Boondock Kollage; Stories from the Hip Hop SouthChronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South, and editor of the forthcoming anthology, An Outkast Reader: Essays of Race, Gender, and the Postmodern South

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Long Division: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982174828
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 1st, 2021

From Kiese Laymon, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Heavy, comes a “funny, astute, searching” (The Wall Street Journal) debut novel about Black teenagers that is a satirical exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and coming of age in post-Katrina Mississippi.


Heavy: An American Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501125669
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - March 5th, 2019

*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lau


Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes Kiese Laymon in conversation with Regina N. Bradley for a celebration of the new edition of Long Division, Laymon's first novel, a satirical exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and Black teenagers coming of age.