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Nook & Cranny Books

They Can't Kill us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurrqib

They Can't Kill us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurrqib

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When first published in 2017, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us became an instant cultural sensation, appearing in music videos, B-sides to singles by The National’s Matt Berninger and Julien Baker, as an essay prompt on standardized tests, and led critics at NPR to herald Hanif Abdurraqib as “one of the most essential voices of his generation.” This expanded paperback edition includes three additional essays by the author and an original afterword by Jason Reynolds.

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.

In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of Black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers: for attempting to enter his own car.

In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others―along with original, previously unreleased essays―Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.

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