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Jerald Walker – James Alan McPherson and His Making of a Dragon Slayer

October 11, 2022 @ 7:00 pm


Jerald Walker, author of the 2020 National Book Award finalist How to Make a Slave and Other Essays, will discuss that work and more.

For the black community, Jerald Walker asserts in How to Make a Slave, “anger is often a prelude to a joke, as there is broad understanding that the triumph over this destructive emotion lay in finding its punchline.” It is on the knife’s edge between fury and farce that the essays in this exquisite collection balance. Whether confronting the medical profession’s racial biases, considering the complicated legacy of Michael Jackson, paying homage to his writing mentor James Alan McPherson, or attempting to break free of personal and societal stereotypes, Walker elegantly blends personal revelation and cultural critique. The result is a bracing and often humorous examination by one of America’s most acclaimed essayists of what it is to grow, parent, write, and exist as a black American male. Walker refuses to lull his readers; instead his missives urge them to do better as they consider, through his eyes, how to be a good citizen, how to be a good father, how to live, and how to love.

Co-presented by  The UI Lecture Committee, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, UI African American Studies, the UI English Department


October 11, 2022
7:00 pm
Event Category:


City of Literature
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Shambaugh Auditorium, University of Iowa Main Library
125 W Washington St
Iowa City, IA 52242 United States
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