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BABEL | Kiese Laymon

Just Buffalo Literary Center presents
BABEL featuring Kiese Laymon
Thursday, April 25, 2024
8:00 pm
Doors open & VIP Patron Reception at 7:00 p.m.

Featured Book: Heavy: An American Memoir

Join Just Buffalo Literary Center for an evening with award-winning author Kiese Laymon whose urgent message will bring the audience to both tears and laughter as he reflects on his book, Heavy: An American Memoir.

Season Subscriptions include a ticket for all (4) of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s BABEL 2023-24 events.

KIESE LAYMON is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. In his observant, often hilarious work, Laymon does battle with the personal and the political: race and family, body and shame, poverty and place. His savage humor and clear-eyed perceptiveness have earned him comparisons to Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alice Walker, and Mark Twain. He is the author of the award-winning memoir Heavy, the groundbreaking essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and the genre-defying novel Long Division.

Laymon’s memoir Heavy won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and was named one of the Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable—an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family.


*Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.


Thursday, April 25, 2024
8:00 pm
Event Category:
Babel Season Tickets Kiese Laymon Tickets


Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States
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