This episode we talk with Oakland native and 2018 youth poet laureate Leila Mottley about writing her debut novel Nightcrawling at 17, and the process of adapting a true story to fiction. Leila imagines how it would be different if she wrote the book now, and insists she’s really not exceptional among the countless talented young writers out there.
*Note: This was recorded shortly before the announcement of Nightcrawling as an Oprah’s Book Club pick.
The Stacks Book Club selection for June is White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue … and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson. We will discuss the book on June 29th with David Dennis Jr.
Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes. You can also find everything we talked about on Amazon.
- Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
- Oprah’s Book Club
- Oakland School for the Arts (Oakland, CA)
- Kiese Laymon
- Danville, CA
- Smith College (Northampton, MA)
- Danyel Smith
- “Ep. 215 It’s Kind of Wonderful, but it’s Kind of Awful with Danyel Smith” (The Stacks)
- “Four Oakland police officers fired, seven suspended, in sexual misconduct case” (Sam Levin, The Guardian)
- Samantha Rajaram
- Oakland Youth Poet Laureate
- James McBride
- There There by Tommy Orange
- Montera Middle School (Oakland, CA)
- Jesmyn Ward
- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
- Jacqueline Woodson
- Bone Black by bell hooks
- For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
- Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo by Ntozake Shange
- Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
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