This week, Random House Audio released a short video of Ta-Nehisi Coates reading an excerpt from Between the World and Me, to accompany its audiobook release. The book is written as a letter from Coates to his son, describing what it’s like to be black in America. Here is an excerpt from Mark Levine’s Booklist review:
In the days after 9/11, Coates could not help seeing the celebrated police as no different from those who had recently killed a Howard classmate. And he desperately wants his son to know (as his father taught him) that American history too often equates with robbery, and its complacent boosters are hypocritical at best. There is awesome beauty in the power of his prose and vital truth on every page.
Publishers Lunch reports that many bookstores are selling Between the World and Me, and another of this week’s bestsellers, Go Set a Watchman, side by side, the two bought as a pair. While the books have pronounced differences—one, an essay that looks to the future, the other, a novel written nearly 60 years ago—both offer timely meditations on race in America. In an interview at ALA Annual Conference last month, Bryan Stevenson, winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction for Just Mercy, said it was time for America to come to terms with its history of slavery and racism. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ powerful memoir will help us do exactly that.