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Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American author whose fiction and nonfiction works tackle the social and political issues surrounding race. The African-American was born in 1975 in Baltimore, Maryland to William Paul Coates and Cheryl Lynn.
Order of Ta-Nehisi Coates Standalone Novels
|1||The Water Dancer||2019||Description / Buy|
Order of Ta-Nehisi Coates Non-Fiction Books
William fought in the Vietnam War. He was also part of the Black Panther movement. Though, when Ta-Nehisi was a child, William was primarily known for his work with books. A librarian and publisher, William, who managed the Black Classic Press, was primarily concerned with the works of African-American authors.
He fathered seven children from four women. The entire family lived together. While most of the children spent most of their younger years with their mothers, Ta-Nehisi stayed with his father. His first name comes from Ancient Egypt.
When the author married Kenyatta Matthews, they decided to name their son (Samori Maceo-Paul Coates) after a historical West African figure that resisted the colonial efforts of the French.
Ta-Nehisi, who spent his childhood in Baltimore’s Mondawmin neighborhood, imputes his love for books to his parents. When he was growing up, his family members were quite close. All the children were raised to not only respect their elders but to use their talents to build their society.
The work his father did as a publisher definitely encouraged Ta-Nehisi’s fascination with books. But his mother had an even larger impact on his publishing career. Whenever he misbehaved, rather than meting out a conventional punishment, Cheryl would ask his son to write essays.
As such, Ta-Nehisi was not only reading the books his father’s company put out but also writing. Though, this did not necessarily make him a great student. A former student of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Woodlawn High School, and William H Lemmel Middle School, Ta-Nehisi was often bored by teachers, which is why he kept falling asleep in class.
He graduated from high school all the same, eventually transitioning to Howard University, though he never got his college degree. After five years, he decided to pursue journalism, abandoning his education and becoming the only one of his siblings without a degree.
The field of journalism was kind to the author. He was fortunate enough to have his work published by the likes of The Washington City Paper, The Village Voice, and Philadelphia Weekly, to mention but a few.
He wrote about his life in Baltimore, slavery, reparations, music, sports, politics, and history, not just in newspapers and magazines but on his award-winning blog. Ta-Nehisi’s career as a published author started to take shape in 2008 when he wrote ‘The Beautiful Struggle’ which delved into his relationship with his father.
He followed it up with another nonfiction book in which he poured his heart out to his son. At this point, the author took an unexpected turn. He joined Marvel Comics, becoming the latest author to tackle their Black Panther comic.
The people that had known him as a child were far from surprised because they were well aware of his love for comics and properties like Dungeons and Dragons. After publishing a collection of essays, Ta-Nehisi finally broke into fiction with ‘The Water Dancer’, his first novel, released in 2019.
Ta-Nehisi has won numerous accolades for his novels and essays, including Eisner, National Magazine, George Polk, and National Book Awards, not to mention Kirkus and Hillman Prizes.
Best Ta-Nehisi Coates Books
Ta-Nehisi had a thriving Twitter account for a while but he abandoned it after some heated disagreements. Some of his best novels include:
Between The World and Me: This nonfiction book by Ta-Nehisi Coats is written like a letter to his son in which he attempts to share his perspective of the world. Ta-Nehisi explores America’s obsession with race and the impact it has had on black men and women, both in the past and in contemporary times.
The Water Dancer: Hiram had known enslavement all his life. What was already a difficult life got even worse when his mother was sold off. Hiram doesn’t remember her. But he knows that she has something to do with the mysterious power he suddenly received, a power that saved his life when he was drowning, and which has now placed him at the center of a conflict between slaves and their masters.
When Does The Next Ta-Nehisi Coates book come out?
Ta-Nehisi Coates doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Water Dancer and was released on September, 24th 2019.