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Nephew: A Memoir in 4-Part Harmony | M. K. Asante

Nephew: A Memoir in 4-Part Harmony | M. K. Asante

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As urgent, resonant, and essential as The Fire Next Time and Between the World and Me, a poetic, raw, and inspirational love letter from the bestselling author of Buck, written to a nephew who was shot nine times and survived--a reflection on life, overcoming odds, finding your voice, and the power of music and family.

Waiting in the emergency room at Temple University Hospital in North Philadelphia where his eighteen-year-old nephew, Nasir, lay unconscious after being shot nine times, MK Asante began pouring his heart and soul into a series of letters to a beautiful, dying Black boy so full of life.

As Nasir fought for survival, MK realized there was so much--too much--that he had kept from his nephew, starting with the truth about his father, MK's brother, Uzi, whom Nasir had never met. MK could no longer remain silent because in many ways, his nephew was repeating the mistakes of the past. MK began his confessional to repair family bonds--to save Nasir from the same streets that stole his father and to introduce him to the man and family history the young man had never known. The result is this beautiful, poignant, and honest family memoir.

Nephew introduces us to two men, strangers to each other, whose similarities are astonishing. Both have red hot tempers, both struggle with opioid addiction, and most profoundly, both are lyrical geniuses whose raps are raw, powerful, and autobiographical. Yet neither had ever heard the other's lyrics. As he tells his family's story, MK draws vivid portraits of both Nasir and Uzi through their songs--lyrics that become the touchstone of their relationship. When father and son eventually meet, they confront each other and share a dialogue through their lyrics.

An explosive, innovative memoir of family, faith, poetry, secrets, love, race, poverty, redemption, addiction, Philadelphia, hip-hop, jail, purpose, mental health, and violence. Nephew is fast-paced, intimate, lyrical, educational, and inspirational. It is the epic, painful, poetic, and miraculous redemptive story of a new generation--a new style of memoir for a new decade, the rhythmic story of a family in love, struggle, and verse.

 

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