Nephew: A Memoir in 4-Part Harmony (Hardcover)

Nephew: A Memoir in 4-Part Harmony By M.K. Asante Cover Image

Nephew: A Memoir in 4-Part Harmony (Hardcover)

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As urgent, resonant, and essential as The Fire Next Time and Between the World and Me, 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.

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

M. K. Asante is an award-winning filmmaker, recording artist, distinguished professor, and the bestselling author of Buck: A Memoir. He studied at the University of London and earned a B.A. from Lafayette College and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. He is the host and co-executive producer of While Black, a Snap Original docuseries produced by NBCUniversal, Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, and Main Event Media. Asante has been featured on CNN, NPR, The Breakfast Club, VH1, and MTV. His essays have been published in the New York Times and USA Today, and his inspirational story “The Blank Page” is featured in the number-one New York Times bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063275287
ISBN-10: 0063275287
Publisher: Amistad
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English

“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

“Nephew is the definitive proof that there has now emerged a new category of memoir we should probably call the "M.K. Asante Memoir." Its defining characteristics are that it is unlike any memoir you've ever seen, that it has completely eradicated the tedious boundaries of the genre, that it fills your spirit—and that you absolutely cannot put it down. Nephew is not a memoir and it is not a book, it is an experience that will engulf your heart and soul in all of the right ways—and lead your spirit forward.” — Ari Bloomekatz, Executive Editor at IN THESE TIMES

"A master storyteller."  — CNN

“Asante is the voice of a new generation.”  — Essence

"To such writers as Dickens, Twain, Douglas, Lee, Angelou and Kerouac we now add the name Asante." — San Francisco Book Review

“MK Asante combines drive, skill and a commitment that buoys us all. The hip hop community should feel extremely blessed to have those qualities attached to its forward movement.” — Chuck D, Public Enemy

“A rare remarkable talent that brings to mind the great artist of the Harlem Renaissance.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

"Known as a master storyteller and a major creative force, best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, and recording artist Asante pours his heart and soul into a series of letters to his nephew, Nasir, who's fighting for his life after being shot nine times. 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." — Booklist