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Ta-Nehisi Coates on Second-to-Last Episode of Longform Podcast 2 min read

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Second-to-Last Episode of Longform Podcast

Never a bad conversation between these two.

By Cary Littlejohn

Coates might just be one of the most-interviewed on the 12-year history of the show. He’s never not great. It’s interesting to listen to the different moments in his career, as he grew from a great writer to a household name.

Episode 584: Ta-Nehisi Coates - Longform
Interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.

Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better second-to-last episode of the show. And I was glad to see that he was working on another book, because I was prone to wondering what he was up to nowadays.

His latest book, The Message, sounds awesome. From the publisher:

Ta-Nehisi Coates originally set out to write a book about writing, in the tradition of Orwell's classic "Politics and the English Language," but found himself grappling with deeper questions about how our stories--our reporting and imaginative narratives and mythmaking--expose and distort our realities.
In the first of the book's three intertwining essays, Coates, on his first trip to Africa, finds himself in two places at once: in Dakar, a modern city in Senegal, and in a mythic kingdom in his mind. Then he takes readers along with him to Columbia, South Carolina, where he reports on his own book's banning, but also explores the larger backlash to the nation's recent reckoning with history and the deeply rooted American mythology so visible in that city--a capital of the Confederacy with statues of segregationists looming over its public squares. Finally, in the book's longest section, Coates travels to Palestine, where he sees with devastating clarity how easily we are misled by nationalist narratives, and the tragedy that lies in the clash between the stories we tell and the reality of life on the ground.
Written at a dramatic moment in American and global life, this work from one of the country's most important writers is about the urgent need to untangle ourselves from the destructive myths that shape our world--and our own souls--and embrace the liberating power of even the most difficult truths.