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Elizabeth Alexander on “The Trayvon Generation”


Elizabeth Alexander’s new book, “The Trayvon Generation,” grew out of a widely discussed essay of the same name she wrote for The New Yorker in 2020. The book explores themes of race, class and of justice and their intersections with art. In this week’s podcast, Alexander discusses the effects of video technology on our exposure and understanding of violence and vulnerability, and contrasts the way his generation was raised with the lives of young people today. today.

“If you think about some of the language of the civil rights movement, ‘We shall overcome’ is hopeful,” says Alexander. “And if you stop there and take that at face value, I’d say that’s what my childhood was all about. But after that comes ‘one day’. Well, I think what we’re seeing now , is that we have not yet arrived at this day.

Lucasta Miller visits the podcast to discuss her new biography, “Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph.”

“I think the popular view is of him as this kind of rather ethereal creature, kind of a delicate flower, the embodiment of beauty, a spiritualized essence,” Miller says. “What I really wanted to do was reclaim something of the real Keats in the flesh, as a really complicated human being. I am in no way trying to undermine it. I’m just trying to make it more complex. And I love him all the same – I love him even more, therefore.

Also in this week’s episode, Alexandra Jacobs and Jennifer Szalai talk about books they recently reviewed. John Williams is the host.

Here are the books discussed by Times reviewers this week:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the book review podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.

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