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In "Yonder," novelist Jabari Asim imagines love amidst enslavement

Jabari Asim is the author of six adult books, including "Yonder" and "The N word," and nine books for children. The Guggenheim Fellow is a former politics and culture editor at the Washington Post, and former editor-in-chief of the esteemed civil rights journal, The Crisis. (photo by Shef Reynolds)
Jabari Asim is the author of six adult books, including "Yonder" and "The N word," and nine books for children. The Guggenheim Fellow is a former politics and culture editor at the Washington Post, and former editor-in-chief of the NAACP's esteemed civil rights journal, The Crisis. (photo by Shef Reynolds)

Tom's guest for the hour today is Jabari Asim, one of the country’s most imaginative and versatile writers, whose body of work encompasses fiction and non-fiction, poetry, plays and children’s literature. He’s a former editor of The Crisis, the journal of the NAACP, and the Washington Post, where he wrote a syndicated column. He is the author of acclaimed non-fiction books, including The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why and We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival.He is the author of the novel, Only the Strong and a collection of short stories called A Taste of Honey.  Professor Asim directs the MFA program at Emerson College in Boston, where he is also the Elma Lewis Distinguished Fellow in Social Justice.

Published by Simon and Schuster
Published by Simon and Schuster

Jabari Asim’s latest book is a historical novel set in 1852 in the American South. It chronicles the lives and loves, the longing for liberation, and the heartbreak and violence visited upon a community of enslaved people. This book is a profound masterpiece, peopled with a fascinating cast of characters who never lose touch with their dreams, in spite of unthinkable trauma. And one of the things that makes them so compelling is the fact that they never let the trauma of enslavement define them.

The novel is called Yonder

Jabari Asim joins us on Zoom from Boston.

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