Thomas Chatterton Williams
Author of Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture
Photo credit: Luke Abiol
About Thomas Chatterton Williams
Thomas Chatterton Williams is an American cultural critic who has written for the New York Times, Harper’s, the London Review of Books, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Le Monde, and many other publications. He is also the author of Losing My Cool, a provocative, intellectual memoir about juggling two disparate lifestyles—the allure and danger of the hip-hop culture, and the saving grace of literature and the power of the bond between father and son. His latest book, Self-Portrait in Black and White, is a reckoning with how we define race in America, expanding on his Virginia Quarterly Review essay “Black and Blue and Blond.” In this beautifully written book, drawing on his personal experience, Williams disputes the notion that his blackness should be central to his identity.
Williams is also one of the writers of the Harper’s open letter, “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate,” which was signed by 153 prominent writers and intellectuals.
Williams was the National Fellow at New American in 2019, and he was the recipient of a Berlin Prize from the American Academy. He currently lives in Paris, where he is an associate editor at Holiday magazine.
Losing My Cool
College and the Discovery Years: Self-definition vs. the Pressure to Conform
Constructing Modern Identity Beyond Race
African-Americans in Paris
Books by Thomas Chatterton Williams
Media About Thomas Chatterton Williams
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- Thomas Chatterton Williams travels from France or New York