Kiese Laymon is a bestselling author, social critic and essayist known for his savage humor and clear-eyed perceptiveness, which earned him comparisons to Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alice Walker and Mark Twain. He is the author of the award-winning memoir, Heavy which won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction in 2019 and was named 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by the New York Times. His genre- defying novel, Long Division, which won the NAACP Image Award, combines elements of science fiction, satire and social commentary.
Imani Perry’s work reflects the deeply complex history of Black thought, art and imagination. Her book Breathe: A Letter to My Sons explores the terror, grace and beauty of coming of age as a Black person in contemporary America and was a finalist for NAACP Image Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. Her latest book, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, is an essential journey through the history of the American South. South to America won the National Book Award and was named best book of 2022 by The New Yorker, TIME magazine and Oprah Daily.