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Black Gay Literary Giant Randall Kenan, Dead at 57

Author Randall Kenan was found dead in his apartment on Friday at the age of 57 years old.

Lamda Literary says that "Randall Kenan’s contribution to the canon of contemporary gay literature is unparalleled. Brooklyn born and North Carolina raised, he was a writer who explored how desire, community, and generational trauma can both uplift and warp the black gay rural experience. With a heightened lyricism and a nod to the fantastical, Kenan centered characters who often struggled against the thicket of their personal wants and histories".

Lamda Literary continues " Kenan was the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of non-fiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and two collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead and the recently releasedIf I Had Two Wings. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the North Carolina Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize, and a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction. At the time of his death, he was a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.


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