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To Free the Captives by Tracy K. Smith
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To Free the Captives

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To Free the Captives by Tracy K. Smith
Hardcover $27.00
Nov 07, 2023 | ISBN 9780593534762

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Praise

“Tracy K. Smith is one of the most beautiful and profound writers of our time. I wept and laughed my way through these gorgeous pages. She teaches us how our beloved ancestors remain our protectors and guides, and how—in Black life—past and present merge in the persistence of injustice and the resilience of our ancestral legacies.”—Imani Perry, author of South to America

“A vulnerable, honest look at a life lived in a country still struggling with its evils. Tracy K. Smith has also written a book for her children and for us. Hopeful, despite all that she sees and feels so deeply, that the freed will soon be truly free. Beautiful and haunting all at once.”—Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again

“A unique intelligence guides the hand of Tracy K. Smith through the archives. It is an intelligence that is both fierce and composed; both compassionate and unflinching. And if intelligence is a kind of light, this light is the kind that allows alchemy. Under its radiance, the violence of the archive becomes one of the most powerful meditations on history, time, and the thread of ancestry that I have read.”Valeria Luiselli, author of Lost Children Archive

“Smith faces the animal of American history armed with love, metaphor, and enormous courage, and the results are wondrous. . . . A seminal work of American literature.”—Aleksandar Hemon, author of The World and All That It Holds

“Tracy K. Smith’s most vulnerable and powerful book to date. . . . Every word is freighted with the gravity of grief and the sublime light of hope; every sentence sings.”—Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings

“A profound, private, meticulous excavation of the inexplicable mysteries of Black intimacy. . . . This book is about how love can humble history, and also how the quiet inimitable force we call ‘Black love’ made American history possible.”—Robin Coste Lewis, author of To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness

“Ours is a great nation, one standing in the need of prayer, like the old song says. But Tracy K. Smith’s To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul is a jeweled revelation—a good Word, a solace—for our troubled times in this troubled place. Smith urges us through an archival journey of family and love and spirit, and retains an always-persuasive hope: that this land can and will sing possibility—for all of us.”—Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

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