MahoganyBooks

An Author Talk & Book Signing Featuring Bassey Ikpi

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About

THE EVENT


We are excited to host Bassey Ikpi in conversation with Marita Golden for a very special discussion on Black mental health and the use of literature to raise awareness and prompt dialogue. On March 28, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, at MahoganyBooks (located inside of the Anacostia Arts Center), Bassey Ikpi and Marita Golden, will discuss their books, I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying and Us Against Alzheimer's, respectively. This event is a much needed conversation between two brilliant writers about two incredible books addressing one important subject...mental health. 


In I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives--how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves--and challenges our preconception about what it means to be "normal." Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are--and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.


Us Against Alzheimer's is a groundbreaking anthology presented in forty narratives, both nonfiction and fiction, that together capture the impact and complexity of Alzheimer's and other dementias on patients as well as their caregivers and family. Deeply personal, recounting the wrenching course of a disease that kills a loved one twice--first they forget who they are, and then the body succumbs--these stories also show how witnessing the disease and caring for someone with it can be powerfully transformative, calling forth amazing strength and grace.  


Join us on March 28, 2020 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM for what promises to be an incredible night of literature, conversation, and community featuring Bassey Ikpi and conversation host, Marita Golden. 


See you there!


THE BOOKS


I'M TELLING THE TRUTH, BUT I'M LYING



"We will not think or talk about mental health or normalcy the same after reading this momentous art object moonlighting as a colossal collection of essays." --Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy


AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!


In I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life--as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist--through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.


The Root Favorite Books of the Year - Good Housekeeping Best 60 Books of the Year - A YNaija 10 Notable Books of the Year - GOOP 10 New Favorite Books - Cup of Jo 5 Big Books of Fall - Bitch Magazine Most Anticipated Books of 2019 - A Bustle 21 New Memoirs That Will Inspire, Motivate, and Captivate You - A Publishers Weekly Spring Preview Selection - An Electric Lit 48 Books by Women and Nonbinary Authors of Color to Read in 2019 - A Bookish Best Nonfiction of Summer Selection


From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression--sometimes within the course of a single day. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO's Def Poetry Jam, channeling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey's mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.


In I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives--how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves--and challenges our preconception about what it means to be "normal." Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are--and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.


US AGAINST ALZHEIMER'S




This groundbreaking multicultural anthology shares moving personal stories about the impacts of Alzheimer's and dementia.

An estimated 5.7 million Americans are afflicted by Alzheimer's disease, including 10 percent of those over sixty-five, and it is the sixth leading cause of death. But its effects are more pervasive: for the nearly 6 million sufferers, there are more than 16 million family caregivers and many more family members. Alzheimer's wreaks havoc not only on brain cells; it is a disease of the spirit and heart for those who suffer from it but also for their families. 


This groundbreaking anthology presents forty narratives, both nonfiction and fiction, that together capture the impact and complexity of Alzheimer's and other dementias on patients as well as their caregivers and family. Deeply personal, recounting the wrenching course of a disease that kills a loved one twice--first they forget who they are, and then the body succumbs--these stories also show how witnessing the disease and caring for someone with it can be powerfully transformative, calling forth amazing strength and grace. 


The contributors, who have all generously donated their work, include Edwidge Danticat, Julie Otsuka, Elizabeth Nunez, Meryl Comer, Greg O'Brien, Dr. Daniel Potts, Sallie Tisdale, and Nihal Satyadev. Reflecting the diversity and global nature of the dementia crisis, this anthology is published in collaboration with UsAgainstAlzheimer's.


THE AUTHOR



Bassey Ikpi


Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian-American writer and mental health advocate. Her debut essay collection, I’M TELLING THE TRUTH BUT I’M LYING (Harper Perennial 2019), is a New York Times Best Seller. 

Appearing on stages across the world as a public speaker and TV personality, Bassey featured on HBO’s ‘Def Poetry Jam’ and joined the touring company for their Tony Award-winning Broadway show. She was the resident pop culture critic for Philly’s WURD FM radio station and is currently a contributing editor for Catapult. An active voice in pop culture commentary and the mental health community, Bassey’s essays have been published by The Root, Ebony, Huffington Post, and Essence, as well as the anthologies Rookie On Love and Who Will Speak For America. In 2015, Bassey was commissioned by Nike’s global nonprofit Girls Effect to write and perform a short film, Invisible Barriers, which premiered at a panel discussing female empowerment as a means for societal growth at Aspen Ideas Conference.

Bassey is the founder of The Siwe Project, a mental health organization that centers Black and Brown people in an effort to spread mental health awareness. Recognized by MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show for her advocacy work, Bassey is also the creator of #NoShameDay, an initiative that attempts to reduce stigma and increase mental health awareness.


THE INTERVIEWER


Marita Golden


Marita Golden, cofounder and president emeritus of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, is a veteran teacher of writing and an acclaimed award-winning author of more than a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction. She has served as a member of the faculties of the MFA graduate creative writing programs at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University and in the MA creative writing program at John Hopkins University, and has taught writing internationally to a variety of constituencies. She currently lives in Maryland.
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