Join us for an enthralling and original first novel about exile, diaspora, and the impossibility of Black refuge in America and beyond.
In the morning, I received a phone call and was told to board a flight. The arrangements had been made on my behalf. I packed no clothes, because my clothes had been packed for me. A car arrived to pick me up.
A man returns home to sub-Saharan Africa after twenty-six years in America. When he arrives, he finds that he doesn’t recognize the country or anyone in it. Thankfully, someone recognizes him, a man who calls him brother—setting him on a quest to find his real brother, who is dying.
In Hangman, Maya Binyam tells the story of that search, and of the phantoms, guides, tricksters, bureaucrats, debtors, taxi drivers, relatives, riddles, and strangers that will lead to the truth.
It is an uncommonly assured debut: an existential journey; a tragic farce; a slapstick tragedy; and a strange, and strangely honest, story of one man’s stubborn quest to find refuge—in this world and in the world that lies beyond it.
Maya Binyam is a writer whose work has appeared in the Paris Review, the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, New York, Bookforum, Columbia Journalism Review, the New York Times Book Review, and in many other publications. She is a contributing editor at the Paris Review and has previously worked as an editor at Triple Canopy and the New Inquiry, and as a lecturer in the New School’s Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program. She lives in Los Angeles.
Kate Wolf is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She is one of the founding editors of The Los Angeles Review of Books, where she's currently editor-at-large and co-host and producer of its weekly podcast, The LARB Radio Hour. Her short fiction, criticism, interviews, and essays have appeared in exhibition catalogues, anthologies, and publications including Bidoun, Bookforum, A