Considered to have written one of the best 50 memoirs of the past 50 years by the New York Times, Kiese Laymon is an American author who is currently on the faculty at Rice University His memoir, “Heavy”, has received multiple accolades and awards including the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Award for Excellence. The autobiography is about growing up Black, bookish and overweight in an abusive home in Jackson, Mississippi.
Why write about Laymon for January’s Black Excellence? Well, last year, “Heavy” was chosen as one of the “15 Books to Read During Black History Month and Beyond” by the Innocence Project. To commemorate Black History Month this year, consider reading Laymon’s book.
Currently teaching at Rice University as the Libbie Shearn Moody Professor of Creative Writing and English, Professor Laymon also works with and founded the Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative which promotes reading and writing with children in Mississippi.