LIVE from NYPL: N.K. Jemisin with W. Kamau Bell

Tue. Jun 16, 2020 8:00pm - 9:00pm EDT
All Ages
All Ages
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Event Description

The Hugo Award–winning author is joined by the sociopolitical comedian to discuss, among other things, sci-fi, Afrofuturism, and Jemisin’s new book.

The City We Became book coverThe City We Became, the latest novel by best-selling speculative fiction writer N.K. Jemisin, imagines a New York City whose future is placed in the balance by an ancient evil that threatens to capitalize on its divisions in order to destroy it. Jemisin is the only writer to ever win the Hugo Award, sci-fi’s highest honor, three times in a row, for each of the books in her ground-breaking Broken Earth trilogy. She will be joined by comedian (and her cousin!) W. Kamau Bell to talk about her work and what all of our cities might become. 

Jemisin's 2015 book, The Fifth Season, appears on The New York Public Library’s “125 Books We Love” list in commemoration of its 125th anniversary. Borrow this book (and more than 300,000 others) for free through the Library’s e-reader app SimplyE, available for iOS and Android devices.

N.K. JemisinN. K. Jemisin is the first author in history to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards, all for her Broken Earth trilogy. Her work has also won the Nebula, Locus, and Goodreads Choice Awards. She has been a reviewer for The New York Times Book Review and an instructor for the Clarion and Clarion West writing workshops.

W. Kamau BellW. Kamau Bell is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning CNN docu-series United Shades of America. He is the author of The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. His most recent comedy special, Private School Negro, is on Netflix.


If you have a NYPL library card—or live in New York state and want to apply for one now—you can borrow The City We Became, The Fifth Season, and The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell for free with our e-reader app SimplyE, available for iOS and Android devices.

Readers everywhere who wish to purchase copies of The City We Became, The Fifth Season, and The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell can do so at The New York Public Library Shop. All proceeds benefit The New York Public Library. Plus, receive a free commemorative 125th anniversary tote bag with your purchase!

This program will be streamed on Zoom and simulcast to YouTube. You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. Please check your email shortly before the discussion to receive the link. Captions for this event will be provided.

Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc.) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Sara Beth Joren at

For all other questions and inquiries, please contact

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During this Program, you will be using third-party platforms such as Zoom and YouTube, for the purpose of communication. This service may collect some personally identifying information about you, such as name, username, email address, & password. This service will treat the information it collects about you pursuant to its own privacy policy, which can be found here: Google Privacy PolicyZoom Privacy PolicyYouTube Privacy Policy.

N.K. Jemisin photo (c) Laura Hanifin
W. Kamau Bell photo (c) John Nowak/CNN

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