LIVE from NYPL: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah with Tochi Onyebuchi: Chain-Gang All-Stars
The bestselling author discusses his debut novel, an “alarmingly pertinent dystopian” vision of violence and criminal justice.
In-person registration for this event has sold out. A limited number of standby tickets will be available on the night of the event.
In Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's new novel, Loretta Thurwar and Hamara “Hurricane Staxxx” Stacker are the stars of Chain-Gang All-Stars, the cornerstone of CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment, a highly popular and controversial profit-raising program in America’s increasingly dominant private prison industry. Gladiators and prisoners compete in death-matches for packed arenas, vying for the ultimate prize: their freedom. Thurwar and Staxxx, both teammates and lovers, are the fan favorites. In just a few matches, Thurwar will be free—but before she goes, can she help her fellow All-Stars preserve their humanity and defy these games? And what will CAPE’s corporate overlords do to stop her?
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah speaks with science-fiction writer Tochi Onyebuchi about his unflinching look at the American prison system’s unholy alliance of systemic racism, unchecked capitalism, and mass incarceration.
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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He was a National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honoree, the winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the Saroyan Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for Best First Book, along with many other honors. Raised in Spring Valley, New York, he now lives in the Bronx.
Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of Goliath and Riot Baby, a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and NAACP Image Awards and winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction and the World Fantasy Award. His short fiction has appeared in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, and elsewhere. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times and NPR, among other places. He has earned degrees from Yale University, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia Law School, and the Paris Institute of Political Studies.
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This program is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).