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Yahdon Israel

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Yahdon Israel is the Editorial Director of Northside Media, Inc. and the Editor-in-Chief of Brooklyn Magazine. He has written for Avidly, The New Inquiry, Brooklyn Magazine, LitHub, and Poets and Writers. He graduated from the MFA Creative Non-Fiction Writing program at the New School. He's the Awards and Membership VP of the National Book Critics Circle. Runs a popular Instagram page which promotes literature and fashion under the hashtag Literaryswag, and hosts a web show for writers called LIT.
It’s incredibly difficult to read books without being reminded of other ones. For me it’s damn near impossible. So when I read James McBride’s Kill ‘Em and Leave, I was helpless in being reminded of the essay Zadie Smith pens for her ailing father, “Dead Man Laughing,” where she writes, “The funniest thing about dying is how much we, the living, ask of the dying; how much we beg them to make it easy...
Following the release of his psychedelic trip of a second mixtape, Acid Rap, Chance The Rapper delivered a guest verse on Rapsody’s “Lonely Thoughts,” rapping: “They sayin’, ‘Acid was an album, retail it’/I said, ‘I got way too much soul for me to sell it.’” Since his first mixtape, 10 Day, Chance has excelled at crafting clever aphorisms. What's special about this aphorism in particular--having “too much soul to sell”--is how instrumental Chance’s belief has...
“Where do you go when you go quiet?” Beyoncé asks in Lemonade’s opening sequence. The answer is incidental to the question being asked. It reminds me of the ones my mother would ask my father after he’d come home from another woman’s house; the ones she’d ask my brother when he refused to answer something simple; the ones she’d ask me whenever I was stealing someone’s video games, lying, and generally not listening. More...

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