Buck: A Memoir

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Buck (book))
Jump to: navigation, search
Buck: A Memoir
Cover of Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante
Author MK Asante
Country United States
Language English
Subject Literature, Pop Culture, Hip Hop Culture
Genre Memoir, African-American Studies
Publisher Random House/Spiegel & Grau
Publication date
August 20, 2013
Media type Print (Hardcover)
e-Book (Kindle)
audio (Audiobook)
Pages 272 pp
ISBN 0812993411

Buck is a memoir by MK Asante, published by Random House/Spiegel & Grau. Buck tells the story of MK's youth growing up in Philadelphia from the perspective of MK as a teenager. Buck illustrates Asante's struggles with the disintegration of his family and the city's urban decay.[1] Buck is often described as inspirational because it details Asante's discovery of his talent for writing at 16 and his decision to pursue it as a career.[2] The paperback edition of Buck made the Washington Post Bestseller List in 2014 and 2015.[3][4]

Critical reception[edit]

Buck was selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick.[5] It was also an LA Times Summer pick[6] and received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Buck was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Buck is an Alex Award nominee and a recipient of the In The Margins Book Award.

Maya Angelou wrote:

"Buck is a story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style... Yes, MK Asante, please continue to live, to accept your liberation, to accept how valuable you are to your country and admit that you are very necessary to us all."[7]

NPR reported:

“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.”[8]

The Los Angeles Times wrote:

“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.”[9]

The San Francisco Book Review wrote:

"Every fifty years or so, a book is written with the power to change lives and reveal a totally new way of looking at the world. Buck is a work of genius and is such a book. To such writers as Dickens, Twain, Douglas, Lee, Angelou and Kerouac we now add the name Asante."[10]

Essence magazine wrote:

“[MK] Asante is the voice of a new generation. . . . You will love nearly everything about Buck.”[11]

Salon (website) wrote:

"The debut of a remarkable talent ... Asante’s prose is a fluid blend of vernacular swagger and tender poeticism."[12]

Publishers Weekly wrote:

"Asante's noir chronicle is imaginative, powerful, and electric, written with passion and conviction."[13]

Buffalo News wrote:

“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.”[14]

Booklist wrote:

“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.”[15]

Kirkus Reviews wrote:

“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.”[16]

Los Angeles Magazine wrote:

"... beautifully written and expertly told ode to the power of art and literature."[17]

Awards and honors[edit]

Movie Adaptation[edit]

In 2014, Asante received a Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Grant to write and direct the movie adaptation of Buck, currently in-development.[21]

Book Soundtrack[edit]

The Buck: Original Book Soundtrack is a soundtrack album to the book Buck: A Memoir. The soundtrack is MK Asante's debut as a rapper and features production and vocals from Talib Kweli, Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, J Dilla, Madlib and others.

The Soundtrack, presented by Talib Kweli's Javotti Media record label, is free. "Buck, the memoir is important not just for its scope and passion," Kweli told AllHipHop.com, "but for the author’s refusal to apologize for existing. The accompanying soundtrack allows you to engulf yourself in this world. When you do, you realize that this work of art is not just important, but necessary.”


  1. ^ "Morgan State professor's memoir, Buck makes big splash". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  2. ^ "Master Storyteller MK Asante keeps it real in the classroom". cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  3. ^ "The Washington Post Bestseller List". washingtonpost.com. 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2014-10-24. 
  4. ^ "The Washington Post Bestseller List". washingtonpost.com. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2014-10-24. 
  5. ^ "Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers 2013". bn.com. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  6. ^ "Biography and Memoirs - Los Angeles Times". latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  7. ^ "Maya Angelou on BUCK by MK Asante". https://www.facebook.com/MayaAngelou/posts/10151872821439796. Retrieved 2014-12-26.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "Buck Tells of Wild Childhood in Killadelphia". npr.org. Retrieved 2013-09-11. 
  9. ^ "MK Asante's 'Buck': Coming of age in Killadelphia". latimes.com. 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  10. ^ "Buck: A Memoir - City Book Review". http://citybookreview.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-14. Retrieved 2014-11-27.  External link in |website= (help)
  11. ^ "Buck - Pinnacle Library Cooperative". pindigital.org. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  12. ^ "Buck: A teen drug dealer finds solace in words". salon.com. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  13. ^ "Buck - Pinnacle Library Cooperative". pindigital.org. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  14. ^ "Buck - Pinnacle Library Cooperative". pindigital.org. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  15. ^ "Buck - Pinnacle Library Cooperative". pindigital.org. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  16. ^ "Buck - Pinnacle Library Cooperative". pindigital.org. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  17. ^ "Reading Tips for Mark Zuckerberg's New Book Club". lamag.com. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  18. ^ "In The Margins Announces Winning Titles". youthlibraries.org. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  19. ^ "’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘The Butler’ Score Big in NAACP Nominations". http://variety.com. Retrieved 2014-11-14.  External link in |website= (help)
  20. ^ "Alex Awards 2014 Nominations Young Adult Library Services Association". ala.org. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  21. ^ "Welcome to the Family: Introducing 4 FFP Fellows". sundance.org. Archived from the original on 2014-08-14. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 

External links[edit]