Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nafissa Thompson-Spires  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born:


-- Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/nafissa.d.thompson
-- Twitter -- https://twitter.com/tisforthompson
-- Website -- http://www.nafissathompsonspires.com/

E-Mail: -- thmpsns2@illinois.edu


Illinois Connection

Thompson-Spires is a Professor of English at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. 

Biographical and Professional Information

Nafissa Thompson-Spires earned a PhD in English from Vanderbilt and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, East Bay Review, Compose, Blinders, FLOW, The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She is a 2016 fellow of the Callaloo Writer's Workshop.

Watch an interview with Nafissa on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers at this link - https://www.nbc.com/late-night-with-seth-meyers/video/nafissa-thompsonspires-writes-with-the-tv-on/3817530.


Selected Titles At Your Library

Heads of the colored people :
ISBN: 1501167995. OCLC Number: 989963508

. .

"Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Diaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes. Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous--from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids' backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide--while others are devastatingly poignant--a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture. Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction"--

Heads of the colored people :
ISBN: 9781684413706. OCLC Number: 1035016344

. .

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous, from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids' backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide; while others are devastatingly poignant. A new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.

Additional Title Information

  • Heads of the Colored People, Atria, 2018


    Awards

    Heads of the Colored People

  • Longlisted, National Book Award for Fiction, 2018
  • Finalist, Kirkus Prize, 2018

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes