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Kiese Laymon to Speak at 46th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 14


Aerial View of the Central Square Branch Library

Cambridge, MA, January 4, 2021 --- Kiese Laymon, author of the award-winning memoir Heavy: An American Memoir, will be in conversation with Jesse McCarthy, an Assistant Professor at Harvard University, at the Cambridge Public Library’s 46th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on January 14, 2021 at 7 p.m. Laymon will speak as part of the Library’s Our Path Forward series that examines issues that are important to the health of our democracy. The program is co-sponsored by the Mayor's Office, City Manager's Office, and the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Laymon’s Heavy: An American Memoir received the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose and the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media. Heavy was named one of the “50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years” by The New York Times and was named a best book of 2018 by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly

Laymon is the Hubert H. McAlexander Chair of English at the University of Mississippi, and recipient of the 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. A graduate of Oberlin College, Laymon holds an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Laymon is also the author of the groundbreaking essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and the genre-defying novel Long Division.  

Jesse McCarthy is an assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of English and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His research is concerned with the intersection between politics and aesthetics in African American literature, postwar literary history, and Black Studies. His writing on culture, politics, and literature has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Dissent, The New Republic and n+1. He also serves as an editor at The Point.

Registration is required to participate in this event. Please register here