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Buck: A Memoir Audiobook, by M. K. Asante Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: M. K. Asante Narrator: M. K. Asante, Adenrele Ojo Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2013 ISBN: 9780804163927
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A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family—this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.
 
MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone—his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country—and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.
 
Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers—outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It’s a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal and redeem us.

Praise for Buck
 
“A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.”—Maya Angelou 
 
“In America, we have a tradition of black writers whose autobiographies and memoirs come to define an era. . . . Buck may be this generation’s story.”—NPR

“The voice of a new generation. . . . You will love nearly everything about Buck.”Essence

“A virtuoso performance . . . [an] extraordinary page-turner of a memoir . . . written in a breathless, driving hip-hop prose style that gives it a tough, contemporary edge.”The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Frequently brilliant and always engaging . . . It takes great skill to render the wide variety of characters, male and female, young and old, that populate a memoir like Buck. Asante [is] at his best when he sets out into the city of Philadelphia itself. In fact, that city is the true star of this book. Philly’s skateboarders, its street-corner philosophers and its tattoo artists are all brought vividly to life here. . . . Asante’s memoir will find an eager readership, especially among young people searching in books for the kind of understanding and meaning that eludes them in their real-life relationships. . . . A powerful and captivating book.”—Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

“Remarkable . . . Asante’s prose is a fluid blend of vernacular swagger and tender poeticism. . . . [He] soaks up James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston and Walt Whitman like thirsty ground in a heavy rain. Buck grew from that, and it’s a bumper crop.”Salon
 
Buck is so honest it floats—even while it’s so down-to-earth that the reader feels like an ant peering up from the concrete. It’s a powerful book. . . . Asante is a hip-hop raconteur, a storyteller in the Homeric tradition, an American, a rhymer, a big-thinker singing a song of himself. You’ll want to listen.”The Buffalo News Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Remarkable . . . Asante’s prose is a fluid blend of vernacular swagger and tender poeticism. . . . [He] soaks up James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston and Walt Whitman like thirsty ground in a heavy rain. Buck grew from that, and it’s a bumper crop. Salon
  • Buck is so honest it floats—even while it’s so down-to-earth that the reader feels like an ant peering up from the concrete. It’s a powerful book. . . . Asante is a hip-hop raconteur, a storyteller in the Homeric tradition, an American, a rhymer, a big-thinker singing a song of himself. You’ll want to listen. The Buffalo News
  • The book’s strength lies in Asante’s vibrant, specific observations, and, at times, the percussive prose that captures them. The author’s fluid, filmic images of black urban life feel unique and disturbing. Kirkus Reviews
  • Asante’s noir chronicle is imaginative, powerful, and electric, written with passion and conviction. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • This is an inspiring story about perseverance and finding purpose that is sure to appeal to readers interested in hip-hop, black studies, and American pop culture in general. Booklist (starred review)
  • Buck takes the daily words of the American streets and forges something low and lovely. Angry, profane, and beautiful, it honors the best of hip-hop’s literary canon by producing a work worthy of inclusion. Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Beautiful Struggle
     
  • Buck sings a song that will force all of America to face what it has become and remember what it could be. Eddie Huang, author of Fresh off the Boat
  • “A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.”

    Maya Angelou

  • A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style. Maya Angelou 
  • In America, we have a tradition of black writers whose autobiographies and memoirs come to define an era. . . . Buck may be this generation’s story. NPR
  • The voice of a new generation. . . . You will love nearly everything about Buck. Essence
  • A virtuoso performance . . . [an] extraordinary page-turner of a memoir . . . written in a breathless, driving hip-hop prose style that gives it a tough, contemporary edge. The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Frequently brilliant and always engaging . . . It takes great skill to render the wide variety of characters, male and female, young and old, that populate a memoir like Buck. Asante [is] at his best when he sets out into the city of Philadelphia itself. In fact, that city is the true star of this book. Philly’s skateboarders, its street-corner philosophers and its tattoo artists are all brought vividly to life here. . . . Asante’s memoir will find an eager readership, especially among young people searching in books for the kind of understanding and meaning that eludes them in their real-life relationships. . . . A powerful and captivating book. Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times
  • Buck sings a song that will force all of America to face what it has become and remember what it could be.”

    Eddie Huang, New York Times bestselling author of Fresh off the Boat

  • “Asante’s noir chronicle is imaginative, powerful, and electric, written with passion and conviction.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Buck takes the daily words of the American streets and forges something low and lovely. Angry, profane, and beautiful, it honors the best of hip-hop’s literary canon by producing a work worthy of inclusion.”

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Beautiful Struggle

  • Selected for the Fall 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Award

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About the Author

M. K. Asante is an award-winning author, filmmaker, hip hop artist, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force.” He studied at the University of London, earned a BA from Lafayette College, and an MFA from the UCLA School of Film and Television. His essays have been published in USA Today and the New York Times

About the Narrator

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. She made her on-screen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.