A National Book Award Finalist
One of the Ten Best Books of the Year: Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, Publishers Weekly, New York Times Book Review, Time, the Boston Globe, NPR, Rolling Stone, Esquire, BuzzFeed, Thrillist, She Reads, BookRiot, BookPage, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, LitHub, Library Journal, Booklist
Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound reflection on how Black performance is woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment he examines has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib's own history of love, grief, and performance. Touching on Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Billy Dee Williams, the Wu-Tan Clan, Dave Chappelle, and more, Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent.