Pulling the Chariot of the Sun

A Memoir of a Kidnapping

Shane McCrae author


Publisher:Canongate Books

Published:14th Sep '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Pulling the Chariot of the Sun cover


When Shane McCrae was eighteen months old, he was removed from his parents and taken to suburban Texas. His mother was white and his dad was Black, and to hide his Blackness from him, his maternal grandparents stole him. In the years that followed, they manipulated and controlled him, believing they were doing what was best for him. His grandmother loved Shane but hated people who looked like him. His grandfather policed any perceived signs of Blackness his grandson showed. In their house, Blackness would always be the worst thing about him.

Pulling the Chariot of the Sun is a revelatory account of what it can mean to be Black in America, written with virtuosity and heart by one of the finest poets writing today. This memoir offers acute insight into the larger story of a people stolen from their homes, dominated by white supremacy and lied to about their own history. And it illuminates how we all might be made whole again, through a tireless search for the truth and the joyful pursuit of what we love.

Imaginative, lyrical . . . Memory itself is as much the central theme as the kidnapping and its aftermath -- DECLAN RYAN * * Daily Telegraph * *
Striking . . . [Full] of many powerfully visceral ruminations on memory * * Observer * *
A moving, slippery and imagistic prose memoir by one of my favourite lyric poets writing today -- RAYMOND ANTROBUS
Extraordinary . . . a recreation of childhood trauma - and the trauma of never being free as a child to name it as trauma in the feverish pseudo-normality of this incredible and shocking situation. It's about race, class, imagination - and skateboarding - and is packed with passion and energy -- ROWAN WILLIAMS * * New Statesman * *
Shane McCrae's powerful, indelible poet's voice has now extended to the memoir, and how fortunate are we that the very things that distinguish his verse - truth-telling, sharp observation, more than a sense of the moment, profundity worn lightly - grace his harrowing and enlightening tale about race and what makes an American family and why. An essential story for our times -- HILTON ALS
Pulling the Chariot of the Sun is the kind of story that pulls you right in with its voice, the kind of book that sways you with heart-wrenching honesty and beautiful music. There is something magnetic to this storytelling, which gives us an incantation of memory that is as moving as it is spellbinding. For what tears up the family in this book is what tears up this country still, prevents it from finding itself. McCrae's voice is vulnerable and direct and precise, the voice of a poet who teaches us again what musical prose can do. This is such a compelling and necessary book -- ILYA KAMINSKY
Shane McCrae's extraordinary memoir is a kinaesthetic feat in the art of remembering, a complex layering of, and a laying bare of, the trauma of a stolen Black identity. Each meticulous, mellifluous, sentence charts a journey with multiple detours, dead ends and unexpected destinations. It is befitting that catharsis comes through language itself, the language of poetry. Ambitious and profound, this book will leave an indelible imprint on the mind of the reader -- PATIENCE AGBABI
A precise articulation of memory, its making and unmaking, McCrae's book is a vivid, churning and compulsive account of one man's personal reckoning with race, prejudice and the ideologies that haunt modern America. Written with a sharp and constantly-searching language, Pulling the Chariot of the Sun is as acute in its thinking as it is brave in its emotional charge -- SEÁN HEWITT
A book by a man who was kidnapped as a child, and raised by his kidnappers, and no further attempt to describe what's in these pages can prepare the reader for the hardness of the story nor the dazzling light of McCrae's prose -- JOHN DARNIELLE
A portrait of a poet as a young Black man . . . McCrae's [memoir] explores memory's uncertain contours, but like few memoirs before it, Pulling the Chariot of the Sun offers the experience, in prose, of that uncertainty * * New York Times Magazine * *

ISBN: 9781838854195

Dimensions: 220mm x 144mm x 27mm

Weight: 388g

272 pages