Nephew

Amistad/HarperCollins, 2024 | Memoir | MK Asante

Nephew

"Emotionally powerful ... A raw authenticity."
-*Los Angeles Times

"Likely to become a classic."
-*Library Journal

"Deeply moving and illuminating."
-Booklist

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As urgent, resonant, and essential as The Fire Next Time and Between the World and Me, Nephew: A Memoir in 4-Part Harmony is 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. On-sale May 21, 2024.

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‘Nephew’ Synopsis

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, M. K. 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, M. K. realized there was so much—too much—that he had kept from his nephew, starting with the truth about his father, M. K.’s brother, Uzi, whom Nasir had never met. M. K. could no longer remain silent because in many ways, his nephew was repeating the mistakes of the past. M. K. 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, M. K. 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.

Praise for ‘Nephew’

  • “Emotionally powerful ... A raw authenticity ... The perfect note ... As with a great piece of music, the emotions and rhythms lingered in my mind long after I’d put down the book.”

    —Los Angeles Times Read Full Review
  • "This poignant memoir about overcoming devastating odds is a treasure and likely to become a classic. Essential reading for deepening understanding of society, the world, familial relationships, and the meaning of art and life."

    —Library Journal Read Full Review
  • "This innovative memoir offers provocative commentary on how Black Americans have sung—and might yet sing—their paths to freedom. Passionate, moving, spirited reflections on art’s therapeutic potency."

    —Kirkus Reviews Read Full Review
  • "Readers will experience the highs and lows of a family's struggles, witness moments of joy and despair, and see miracles unfold. This beautifully crafted and inspiring narrative captures the essence of family life and showcases the power of love and perseverance in the face of adversity. YA's will find Asante's narrative deeply moving and illuminating."

    —Booklist Read Full Review
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