Darryl Pinckney

Darryl Pinckney

Writer


Darryl Pinckney is a long time contributor to The New York Review of Books, the author of two novels, High Cotton (1992) and Black Deutschland (2016), and two works of nonfiction essays, Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature (2002) and Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy (2014). He has contributed to numerous other periodicals, including The Guardian, Harper's, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, Slate, TLS, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. His several theatrical collaborations with director Robert Wilson have appeared internationally and at Brooklyn Academy of Music. His most recent book is Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West Sixty-Seventh Street, Manhattan.

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Books



Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney

Darryl Pinckney's first novel was High Cotton (1992). The novel won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. The story follows an unnamed narrator as he moves from his safe childhood in conservative Indianapolis to a brief tenure as minister of information for a local radical organization, to eventually settling into the life as an expatriate in Paris. Through it all, his imagination is increasingly dominated by his elderly African American relations and the lessons of their experiences in the “Old Country” of the South.

Pinckney's next book was a collection of essays Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature (2002). Originating with Pinckney's Alain Locke Lectures at Harvard University, the essays focus on three writers: J. A. Rogers, Vincent O. Carter, and Caryl Phillips.

Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy was reissued with a new essay in 2020. Described as "Pinckney’s meditation on a century and a half of participation by blacks in US electoral politics "

Pinckney's second novel Black Deutschland (2016) was named one of The Guardian (UK) Best Books of the Year. His recent collection of essays titled Busted in New York and Other Essays includes a foreword by Zadie Smith.

Pinckney's most recent book is Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West Sixty-Seventh Street, Manhattan. Pinckney recalls his friendship and apprenticeship with Elizabeth Hardwick and Barbara Epstein and the introduction they offered him to the New York literary world ...

High Cotton by Darryl Pinckney Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature by Darryl Pinckney Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney Busted in New York and Other Essays by Darryl Pinckney Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney

Essays / Journalism



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Darryl Pinckney has contributed to the NYRB since the 1970s. For a full list of his archived essays, please visit the NYRB website.