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Things I Have Withheld (Kobo eBook)

Things I Have Withheld By Kei Miller Cover Image
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Fourteen “thoughtful and impassioned” autobiographical essays exploring race, sex, gender, belonging, and alienation by an award-winning author (Kirkus Reviews).

In a deeply moving, critical and lyrical collection of interconnected essays, award-winning writer Kei Miller explores the silences in which so many important things are kept. Miller examines the experience of discrimination through this silence and what it means to breach it —”to risk words, to risk truth; and through the body and the histories those bodies inherit” the crimes that haunt them, and how the meanings of our bodies can shift as we move through the world, variously assuming privilege or victimhood.

Through letters to James Baldwin, encounters with Soca, Carnival, family secrets, love affairs, questions of aesthetics and more, Miller powerfully and imaginatively recounts everyday acts of racism and prejudice from a black, male, queer perspective. An almost disarmingly personal collection, Kei dissects his experiences in Jamaica and Britain, working as an artist and intellectual, making friends and lovers, discovering the possibilities of music and dance, literary criticism, culture, and storytelling.

With both the epigrammatic concision and conversational cadence of his poetry and novels, Things I Have Withheld is a great artistic achievement: a work of innovation and beauty which challenges us to interrogate what seems unsayable and why, “our actions, defense mechanisms, imaginations and interactions” and those of the world around us.

Praise for Things I Have Withheld

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction
BOMB Magazine’s Editor’s Choice
Best Book of 2021 at Slate and Buzzfeed
Times (UK), 16 best philosophy and ideas books 2021

“Miller gives a searing voice to ‘the things’ I have been trying so hard to write” in this entrancing collection. . . . Sharp as blades, Miller’s words cut to the core.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“There’s no didacticism or sermons here, merely curiosity and sometimes anger and a deep commitment to speaking the uncomfortable truths we’d rather not hear. A bold and daring collection.” —Buzzfeed

“This incisive collection of short essays serves as a tabernacle for stories untold, secrets, and reflections on race and sexuality. . . . Immediately arresting and consistently poignant, Miller’s essays engage with the urgency of gripping fiction and the authenticity of stunning poetry. An important voice of the Caribbean, who should be read together with the likes of Safiya Sinclair, Oonya Kempadoo, and Colin Channer.” —Booklist

Product Details
ISBN-13: 9780802158963
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: September 14th, 2021