In conversation with Kiese Laymon
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ABOUT UNDERGROUND, MONROE, AND THE MAMALOGUES: THREE PLAYS
This book features new plays by Lisa B. Thompson, author of Single Black Female. In these three plays, the black feminist playwright and scholar thoughtfully explores themes such as the black family, motherhood, migration, racial violence, and trauma and its effect on black people from the early twentieth century to the present. The works showcase Thompson’s subversive humor and engagement with black history and culture through the lens of the black middle class.
The thriller Underground explores the challenges of radical black politics among the black middle class in the post-Obama era. Monroe, a period drama about the Great Migration, depicts the impact of a lynching on a family and community in 1940s Louisiana. The Mamalogues, a satirical comedy, focuses on three middle-class black single mothers as they lean in, stress out, and guide precocious black children from diapers to college in a dangerous world. This collection will be compelling to readers interested in African American studies; drama, theater, and performance; feminist and gender studies; popular culture and media studies; and American studies.
ABOUT LISA B. THOMPSON
Lisa B. Thompson is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced off-Broadway, across the United States, and internationally. Her work has been produced by Crossroads Theatre Company, New Professional Theatre, Brava Theater Center, Theatre Rhinoceros, The Vortex, New African Grove Theatre Company, Black Spectrum Theatre, Austin Playhouse, the Out of Ink Festival, and the National Black Theatre Festival. Thompson is also Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class and Single Black Female.
ABOUT KIESE LAYMON
Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. Laymon is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and Oxford American. He has written for New York Times, Esquire, VSB, ESPN The Magazine, Paris Review, NPR, Colorlines, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Ebony, Guernica, Fader, Travel & Leisure, Lit Hub, and many others. Laymon is at work on several new projects, including the long poem, Good God, the horror novel, And So On, the children’s book, City Summer, Country Summer and the film Heavy: An American Memoir. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program aimed at getting Mississippi kids and their parents, more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing.
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