Award-winning author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah joins us for a spoiler-free discussion of his new novel Chain-Gang All Stars. He shares the pressures he’s felt ahead of releasing his second book, and his trepidation around how the book will be received in prison abolition spaces. Plus, we find out what makes revision so important to Nana, and how he thinks about employing violence in the book to help tell this story.
The Stacks Book Club selection for May is This Boy We Made by Taylor Harris. We will discuss the book on May 31st with Nicole Chung.
Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Transcript
Everything we talk about on today’s episode can be found below in the show notes and on Bookshop.org and Amazon.
- Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
- Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
- “Ep. 48 Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah — The Stacks Book Club (Wade Allain-Marcus)” (The Stacks)
- “The Short Stacks 7: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah//Friday Black” (The Stacks)
- The Stacks Pack
- “Sometimes, Academic Writing Hits Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Emotionally” (Rebecca Clarke, The New York Times)
- “Bookseller survey finds debut authors struggle with lack of support” (Editorial Team, The Bookseller)
- Matt Bell on Second Book Anxiety (@mdbell79)
- Simone Biles
- “If You Can’t Beat Them, Change The Rules: “The Biles” And Unfair Barriers For Excellence In America” (Colin Seale, Forbes)
- Mariame Kaba
- “Ep. 239 The Purpose of a System Is What It Does with Mariame Kaba” (The Stacks)
- Angela Davis
- Ruth Wilson Gilmore
- Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site (Philadelphia, PA)
- Peripheral Neuropathy (NIH)
- My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson
- Bayard Rustin
- Fred Trump
- Larry Kramer
- Waterstones UK edition of Chain-Gang All-Stars
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
- Squid Game (Netflix)
- Serena Williams
- LeBron James
- Semicolon Cafe (New York, NY)
- Semicolon Bookstore (Chicago, IL)
- Delta Air Lines
- Pantheon Books
- We Do this Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba
- Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis
- How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith
- The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
- “Ep. 22 The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner — The Stacks Book Club (Becca Tobin)” (The Stacks)
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (audiobook)
- The “Look at Us” meme (Paul Rudd on Hot Ones)
To support The Stacks and find out more from this week’s sponsors, click here.
Connect with Nana: Instagram | Twitter | Website
Connect with The Stacks: Instagram | Twitter | Shop | Patreon | Goodreads | Subscribe
To contribute to The Stacks, join The Stacks Pack, and get exclusive perks, check out our Patreon page. If you prefer to support the show with a one time contribution go to paypal.me/thestackspod.
The Stacks participates in affiliate programs. We receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on this website, and this comes at no cost to you. This in no way effects opinions on books and products reviewed here. For more information click here.