They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us


Book - 2017
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*2018 "12 best books to give this holiday season"--TODAY Show
*Best Books of 2018--Rolling Stone
"A Best Book of 2017" --NPR,Buzzfeed, Paste Magazine , Esquire , Chicago Tribune ,Vol. 1 Brooklyn, CBC, Stereogum, National Post , Entropy, Heavy, Book Riot, Chicago Review of Books , The Los Angeles Review, Michigan Daily
*American Booksellers Association (ABA) 'December 2017 Indie Next List Great Reads'
*Midwest Indie Bestseller

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.

In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers: for attempting to enter his own car.

In essays that have been published by the New York Times , MTV , and Pitchfork , among others--along with original, previously unreleased essays--Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.

"Funny, painful, precise, desperate, and loving throughout. Not a day has sounded the same since I read him." --Greil Marcus, Village Voice

Publisher: Columbus, Ohio : Two Dollar Radio, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781937512651
Branch Call Number: 814.6 Willi
Characteristics: 285 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Willis-Abdurraqib, Hanif Essays.


From the critics

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Dec 20, 2018

I absolutely loved this collection of essays. What drew me to it initially is my several-year history with the city of Columbus, Ohio, and my intent following of publications by Two Dollar Radio. Some of my favorite books draw me in in unexpected ways. I don't have a personal connection with many of the musicians mentioned in the book, but that did not stop me from appreciating them in new ways and connecting to Abdurraqib's experience.

OPL_ErinD Jun 05, 2018

I was unprepared for the strong emotional response I had to this collection of essays. You don't have to have experienced Chance The Rapper, or Cute Is What We Aim For, or Carly Rae Jepsen the same way the Abdurraqib did (or at all) to feel the deep connections that can exist between music, coming of age and our collective experiences. Abdurraqib's writing reminds me that great culture writing is more than a critique, it is an invitation to an experience.

Apr 05, 2018

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us is poetic, poignant, and promising. The author's use of language is emotionally enticing and his capacity to share his thoughts in a such a tangible way is enthralling and heartbreaking. Abdburraqib has the ability to expose the skeleton of popular culture and lay it at the feet of the audience, clutching a bouquet of human condition. This book spoke to me more than anything I've read in a long time.

LPL_DirectorBrad Feb 21, 2018

I can't adequately describe how much or just why I love this book so much. Hanif Abdurraqib writes so powerfully and with such insight about all the things we as a nation are grappling with right now.

[A note to potential readers: I loved this book out of the gate but a few essays about emo bands about 80 or so pages in gave me a bit of a stumble near the middle of the book, and I almost didn't finish. What a tremendous mistake that would have been. Perhaps I have been watching too much Olympic downhill skiing, but this book just gains power as it moves forward.]

The density of insight, observation, and challenges to do better beg for multiple readings. I kept wanting to read the next essay but knew I wasn't taking adequate time to synthesize all the knowledge getting dropped on me at every turn.

Read this now!

LPL_KateG Dec 19, 2017

Lawrence, KS readers: author Hanif Abudurraqib is coming to The Raven Bookstore on Tues 2/27! More details here, and space is limited --

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