Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of the award-winning memoir Heavy, the groundbreaking essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and the genre-defying novel Long Division. His bestselling memoir Heavy: An American Memoir won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, and the audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible Audiobook of the Year. Heavy was named a best book of 2018 by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, among other publications and one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. Long Division was honored with the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing in 2014, and was shortlisted for a number of other awards, including The Believer Book Award, the Morning News Tournament of Books, and the Ernest J. Gaines Fiction Award. A contributing editor for Vanity Fair, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, ESPN The Magazine, NPR, Colorlines, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Ebony, Guernica, The Oxford American, Lit Hub, and many others in addition to Gawker. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University.