Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Listen to the interview

Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is our guest this week. We’ll be talking with him about FRIDAY BLACK his NYT Bestselling short story collection out with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  Oct 23, 2018.

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FRIDAY BLACK   (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  Oct 23, 2018) is the debut book by 27-year-old Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. FRIDAY BLACK was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Fiction 2018, and Adjei-Brenyah was recently chosen as A National Book Foundation “5 Under 35”honoree, by Colson Whitehead.

Adjei-Brenyah’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications, including Esquire, Guernica, Printer’s Row, and the Breakwater Review, where ZZ Packer awarded him the Breakwater Review Fiction Prize. The son of immigrants from Ghana, he received his MFA in fiction at Syracuse University, and is now working there as a writing professor. He was also the 2016-2017 Olive B. O’Connor fellow in fiction at Colgate University.

In PRAISE of  FRIDAY BLACK  (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  Oct 23, 2018)

Named a BEST BOOK by Elle, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, Bazaar, Nylon, Boston Globe, O, the Oprah Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Chicago Tribune The Verge, Vulture, The Millions, The New York Observer, The Rumpus, Book Page, Bookish The Seattle Review of Books, Literary Hub, Color Lines, PopSugar, My Domaine and Southern Living.

 FRIDAY BLACK was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Fiction 2018

“One of the most anticipated literary debuts of the fall, FRIDAY BLACK veers between the surreal and the satirical in its bold take on being young and black in America.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Reading Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s debut short story collection FRIDAY BLACK is like being shaken awake….He skewers the ways we brush past racism and injustice, making the absurdity of the rhetoric around both impossible to ignore.” —Buzzfeed

“Disturbingly dark and extremely brilliant… —Interview Magazine


A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America.

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope. –HMHC Books

For more information, please see the author’s website. You can keep up with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenya on Twitter and Instagram.