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How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir
Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson is the author of This is Major, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle and the LAMBDA Literary Award, and two poetry collections. Lawson has written for New York MagazineSalonESPN, and Paper, and earned fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Artist Colony. They reside in Lexington, Kentucky. They’ve “lived” everywhere.
“Phenomenal. Shayla Lawson’s How to Live Free in a Dangerous World is luminously intimate. It is a memoir that opens into the world, with brilliance, courage, and elegant prose. Lawson is at once marvelously and unapologetically Black, incisive, and vulnerable. They are an unflinching observer of the world who takes us on a journey that is both wide and deep. This is a book to read, read again, and remember.” -- Imani Perry, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award winner South to America

“Some writers have the gift of talent. Some writers’ talent is a gift to others, namely the reader. Then there are those writers who fall into both categories. Shayla Lawson is one such author. Thought provoking, raw, honest, funny, moving. This book is a treasure. Shayla is a marvel. I’m so grateful for what they and the book have given us.” -- Phoebe Robinson, New York Times bestselling author of You Can’t Touch My Hair

“How To Live Free in a Dangerous World explores many places – varied cultures, perspectives, life stages, individual differences – and how we navigate these intersecting landscapes. Beautiful, moving, and relentlessly insightful.” -- Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl

“Shayla Lawson is one of our greatest storytellers. Their ability to weave personal narrative and pop culture criticism is unparalleled. They make How to Live Free in a Dangerous World uniquely appealing and will leave audiences wanting more.” -- Jamilah Lemieux, writer, culture critic, and podcast host

“The writing in How to Live Free in a Dangerous World is beautiful, Shayla’s ideas uniquely compelling, and their perspective invaluable in these precarious times. I am grateful for Shayla Lawson’s sharp eye, incisive critiques, and the threads of resistance and hope woven through their observations of this life.” -- Areva Martin, award-winning civil rights attorney and national bestselling author of Make It Rain!

“Shayla Lawson’s How To Live Free in a Dangerous World is Eat, Pray, Love for a new generation…a poignant look at how Lawson learned to liberate themselves from the things that held them back.” -- TIME, “Here Are the 13 Books You Should Read in February”

“There’s a real courage and generosity to Lawson’s work; readers will find much here to embolden their own self-exploration.” -- Elle, ”The Best and Most Anticipated Fiction Books of 2024, So Far”

“Dense with ideas, as well as full of those beautiful sentences.” -- Linda Holmes, NPR
[H]  Tiny Reparations Books  /  February 06, 2024
0.86" H x 8.6" L x 5.79" W (0.94 lbs) 320 pages