The Wheeler Centre
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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Friday Black
Endorsed by the likes of Roxane Gay, Colson Whitehead and George Saunders – and by the New York Times bestseller list – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is a star on the rise.
The 27-year-old African American author made his debut last year with Friday Black, a mind-bending and provocative collection of short stories about consumerism, race, technology and the violence of the modern world. By turns absurdly surreal and brutally recognisable, and often humming with dark humour, the book’s stories coincide with many of our moment’s most urgent issues; Adjei-Brenyah describes them as concerned with ‘problems inherent to the project of America’.
Appearing for the first time in Melbourne for our Mayhem series, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah speaks with Areej Nur about his six years of writing, workshopping and rewriting Friday Black – and what comes next.
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is from Spring Valley, New York, and graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. He was the 2016-2017 Olive B. O'Connor Fellow in Fiction at Colgate University. His bestselling debut is Friday Black, and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer’s Row, Gravel, and the Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest.
Areej Nur is a radio producer, presenter and educator. She is also co-founder of the podcast network Broadwave. Most of Areej’s work seeks to support women of colour, particularly black women, to be at the forefront of conversations about media, arts, race and feminism in Australia.